ESCAPOLOGY Shock to the system
released out now! 368 pages | Paperback/ebook Author ren Warom Publisher Titan Books
For quite a while, the most noteable thing about Escapology is how it intersperses the standard cyberpunk features – hacking, drugs, Japanese stuff, futuristic slang, ordinary nouns given Capital Initials – with the odd scene set on a “land-ship”. The rest of it follows two participants in the criminal underworld, Shock and Amiga, as they go about their grimy, dystopian business and complain about the food. Initially it feels like it’s not adding up to much, though some of author Ren Warom’s concepts are terrific (the hopelessly infected viral marketing stooges are a stand-out).
It helps if you read it quickly. The detail is dense – almost alienatingly so – and it’s easy to lose your grip on who’s who and what various things mean in this world. And although at first glance it seems to be populated by the kind of psychopaths and cool, emotionally distant loners we’re used to seeing in this type of fiction, Warom opens them up as the book goes on. After about a hundred pages, the plot coheres and it becomes clear where all this is going – and from there on, its heist narrative plays out in a satisfyingly unpredictable fashion.
Ren Warom’s favourite movie is Tremors: “I have watched it a billion times and will watch it a billion more!”