Monday, February 1, 2016

Book review: Voids

In the near future, overpopulation is dealt with by a special force of individuals known as Sterilization Agents. Each one is tasked with tracking down deadbeat fathers and ensuring (legally) that these men no longer procreate by zapping them in the groin with a special gun that effectively neuters them.  Danny Seraphine is one such agent who finds particular satisfaction in his job, perhaps due to the fact that his own father left his family when Seraphine was only 9 years old.

Aside from his job, Seraphine leads a somewhat normal life, though not without complications.  Seraphine and his wife, Emily, are having pregnancy issues.  After their first child, Marnie, was stillborn, Seraphine isn't sure if he wants another, despite Emily's eagerness. Also, Seraphine's little brother, Zack, is in prison, known as The Farm, and Seraphine has yet to visit. And then there's the little matter of the ethereal transparent shapes Seraphine keeps seeing wherever he goes, the mysterious, titular voids.

Add to the above mix an introduction to a future society and its various technologies and you've got a recipe for an enjoyable read. Voids, from Omnium Gatherum is also a quick read, and not just because it's a novella. Written by Tim Jeffreys and Martin Greaves, the prose sings as it leaps from the page, urging the reader on to the next. And by the time the reader reaches the end, all of the plot threads have been neatly resolved.  I highly recommend Voids to anyone who reads science fiction or to anyone with any kind of experience (be it firsthand or otherwise) with deadbeat dads.

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