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I am sick of sappy love stories. Enough said.

While a lot of writers are able to expand cliché romance plot – childhood friends, cute guy/girl next door, enemies to lover, husband/wife/lover on contract – into a rich love tale with its own uniqueness and personalities, some simply reuse generic plot over and over again. There is nothing wrong with the latter, but I miss the excitement of wondering what would happen next.

When I read CYBERPUNK, it was a refreshing read. In the hands of 14 writers and Zen Cho, they tackled one future possibilities one after another, while touching on daily aspect of Malaysians’ lives on religion, politics, income gap, migrant labour, difference of thinking and upbringing, adverse impact of environmental issues and the overwhelming culture of social media.

The stories are written in simple English, spiced up with Malaysian slangs and terms which bring a sense of familiarity. While all are great stories, some give deeper impact than others for me. Attack of the Spambots sent a chill to my spine on how terrifying somebody could go for the sake of money. You care more about what business an employee can bring compared to their livelihood as a person. It resonates with working experience of some friends of mine, who have to work long hours and abandoning their health in progress. Nothing they can do about it as their protest means being replaced by the next person in line. It made me reflect on myself too whether I would have done the same thing if I ever reached such a top position.

While all stories written are fiction, I could see how Codes and Personal can become a legit warning to all Malaysians. With the rampant sharing on social media, rapid technological advances, and current sentiment in the air, the reality these two stories presented have a possibility to come alive. Codes foretold the story of Nadia, a young Malay girl whose life has been integrated to internet and what she could see, buy and use was dictated by her race. Personal told a reality whereby everyone’s private life is now compiled inside a device, from your purchases, routines and your private thoughts. Face-to-face interaction became foreign that you could almost forget how someone’s voice is like.

To sum all up, I would recommend this book for those who are looking for an extraordinary quick read. Anybody who love a futuristic theme or aware of current social sentiments in Malaysia would also enjoy the read, which can be traced in all stories compiled in this book.

So, what do you think about it? Share with us


Get the digital version at eSentral for RM 10.90 by clicking here