Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Book Review: 'Zyborg' by Conan De Moe

Conan De Moe writes fantasy fiction science fiction bizarre and wonderfully entertaining short books – a style he labels Turbo Fiction (‘any short fiction under 40,000 words’). In this book he introduces cyborgs, and for the uninitiated, a cyborg (short for "cybernetic organism") is a being with both organic and biomechatronic body parts - Half human, half machine. Sounds like a creature in the not too distant future if Artificial Intelligence and all the other testy experiments we as a world are engaged in at the moment. At any rate Conan’s writing style is sophisticated so do not be put off by the concept of brevity breeding books ‘for literary aficionados on the go’: this is fine composition with an excellent vocabulary used in precisely the right manner for the subject at hand. Oh, and further background, the title ZYBORG is an amalgamation of zombies and cyborgs and hence the strange and novel name that adds a dash of character to the book.

Conan opens his new book with a peaceful and domestic scene that hardly hints at the action to come: ‘Alex was determined to stay upbeat, if only for the sake of Emily. Her pregnancy was planned, but the trip was spur of the moment. They decided to throw the long ball, one last taste of freedom while it was still safe for Emily to fly. When the Caribbean Sea made a collect call to the soul, the sensible thing to do was pick up the damn phone.’

Or as the synopsis hints, ‘Alex is trying to enjoy a Caribbean vacation with his wife, but bad luck and poor choices are making it difficult. Pregnant with their first child, Emily has become a walking buzzkill of nausea, sunburn and bug bites. Alex was grateful that the unlabeled container of breath mints he found on the airplane packed such a wallop of drug induced euphoria. The problem however, is that the experimental nanobots he ingested will soon evolve into a cybernetic swarm with a taste for human souls. Now Alex must fight through a hoard of zombie cyborgs, standing between him and the cure.’

Fasten the seatbelt and prepare for a rapid and scary ride as Conan promises to take us out of the rather boring ‘now’ and zing us into a fantasy fiction sure to please. The young man has talent! Grady Harp, March 16

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.