By the mid 21st century the world economies had collapsed; the few wealthy live in gated communities where law is based on user pays, while the masses exist on residue-ridden food handouts in the remains of cities, where law is based on the gun. In one part of a decayed city, known as the Green Zone, two parents want a better life for their children. Jacob Adams fixes things for people in the nearest gated community. Lawrence Foster, an expert sniper, enforces order his way. Henry Adams has an ill-fated crush on Suzie Foster, but when his father is murdered, Lawrence executes the gang and uses the bounty to send Susan to college to become a lawyer. He also teaches Henry the art of killing and as he dies from the residues, he leaves Henry an armoury.
In 2051, fusion power, which will solve the energy shortage, is invented. Economies will grow, there are huge opportunities, and the world will change. By fair means or, more generally, foul means, David Sheldon ruthlessly acquires wealth and power by acquiring and trading companies. Susan Foster joins a corporation and, assisted by the machine pistol she always carries, helps it to become a monopoly. Henry, remaining in the Green Zone, has a dream in which everybody has the freedom and opportunity to flourish by themselves, free from big corporations. These three cannot coexist, so when David Sheldon and Suzie Foster turn their attention to the Green Zone, at stake is the future direction of the planet's economy as well as their, and many others', lives.
A futuristic thriller, the second in my "future history" with 142,000 words.
|Publisher:||Ian J Miller|
|File size:||502 KB|
About the Author
Ian J Miller was born 7th August 1942 to the son of a policeman sent to Hokitika (New Zealand) to fill vacancies due to the mass murderer Stanley Graham. Secondary education was at Ashburton High School, thence to University of Canterbury (BSc Hons1, PhD), followed by post-docs at Calgary, Southampton and Armidale. I returned to New Zealand to Chemistry Division, DSIR, to work first on lignin chemistry, then recycling, seaweed research, then hydrothermal wood liquefaction. In 1986 I left DSIR to set up Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, to carry out research to support the private half of a joint venture to make pyromellitates, the basis of high temperature resistant plastics. (When called to a TV program to discuss the danger of foam plastics in fires, I aimed a gas torch at the palm of my hand, protected only by a piece of foam plastic I had made shortly before. Fortunately, it worked, it glowed yellow hot, but held the heat for about half a minute.) This venture, and an associated seaweed processing venture collapsed during the late 1980s financial crisis, mostly for financial reasons. Current projects include the development of Nemidon gels (www.nemidon.co.nz/) and fuels and chemicals through the hydrothermal treatment of microalgae (www.aquaflowgroup.com/). I have written about 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, about 35 other articles, and I was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008. In my first year University, following an argument with some Arts students, I was challenged to write a fictional book. I did in spare time: Gemina. I subsequently self-published a revised version, only to find publicity was forbidden as a condition of getting my finance for the pyromellitates project. Since then, I have written a few more science in fiction thriller-type novels that don't fit nicely in any category. These form a "future history", and Puppeteer is the first of one entry point.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As the book starts we are already on the other side of a dystopian meltdown. The rebuild, worldwide will be painfully slow, but progress will be made. The story is set in one small area, the area that will be served by one new power station. Some of the wealthy, in their gated communities have come through a worldwide conflagration relatively unscathed, not so most of the population. There is a lot of excitement, heaps of intrigue, and a very clever interplay of characters in the plot. Sometimes the detail was actually too clever for me, to mathematically complex, but I breezed on to find, as I suspected, that the maths of who did what to whom and when didn't particularly matter. The story is in the series of results from the complex interplay of competing and variously empowered players. I don't hesitate in giving this book five stars, but the proof-reader needs eliminating and replacing before the next book, just as unceremoniously as are so many of Miller's characters that fail to keep pace with this developing new social, material and financial order. One more edit would be more than worthwhile, so I hope Miller organises just that. Miller's writing style is robust, eloquent, and fashionable short of superfluous adjectives and adverbs. This Hemingwayesque style is popular, certainly, though less plot detail and more expansive description would have enriched the reading for me. I would have liked to have been given a few more colours from the peeling paint, and a deeper penetration of the souls driving the characters. I enjoy more ingredients than a plot demands. But as it is the word count is fairly long, as I said, we see a complex sum. The author is an intellectual thinker, with many scientific and social views about where the future might go. Miller combines this with writing very engaging fiction that works on so many levels. I certainly enjoyed reading 'Troubles'. Miller does just exactly what all good speculative fiction writers do, entertains with aplomb whilst providing food for both frivolous and serious thought.
Reviewed by Paul Johnson for Readers' Favorite By the mid 21st century the world has dramatically changed. Most economies have collapsed leaving essentially a two level existence. The wealthy live in gated communities somewhat protected by the law based on user pay system while the others eke out a meager reality in the remains of cities, where law is based on the survival of the fittest. In one such part of a decayed city, known as the Green Zone, there is Henry Adams and Susan, the daughter of the protector of the Green Zone, sniper Lawrence Foster. When Henry's father is murdered, the dying Lawrence sends Susan to college, and then teaches Henry the art of sniping to enable him to take over. In 2051, with fusion power invented, economies start to grow with huge opportunities for the world. Henry also starts to grow with a dream where everybody has the freedom and opportunity to flourish. As it does, it attracts newcomers as well as bringing back old acquaintances. At stake is the future direction of the planet's economy and many, many lives. "Troubles" is an interesting story. It starts with a post apocalyptic world after a financial meltdown and a lack of trust in authority and then covers several periods including the aftermath of the troubles. The author has created several memorable characters, both good folks and not so good folks. There is one little thing. Since I am a fan of post apocalyptic stories, I would have liked to see more about the time of the troubles. While I feel the story has a lot of merit it is a very big book and tends to drag a little from time to time. Possibly if it is shortened or even split into two books with one covering the troubles a little more in depth, it could have moved a little quicker. Overall, I applaud this author for putting together a very well-written story.