GRID CITY OVERLOAD / STEVEN T. BRAMBLE
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Set in the fictional city of Grid, CO—a sprawling metropolis built to look intentionally futuristic—Grid City Overload swirls around three central characters: a budding uppers addict, an informational psychopath, and a schizotypal soda factory worker who believes he’s a fish.
Two interlocking conspiracies are slowly converging on this trio who are all socially, as well as psychologically, vulnerable to advanced technology in a city that has fostered a technocracy. A ubiquitous software company, InfoZebra, begins construction on a massive new corporate headquarters at the heart of Grid. At the same time, the legal rights to a dying woman’s head are called into question. At the center is a prodigiously skilled hacker known as XittyXat (in reality a young woman named Amy Arsenault, an informational psychopath obsessed with manipulating reality through digital means) who transforms both situations into scandals, and in so doing embroils the people surrounding her—knowing and unknowing.
What results is a journey into the minds of the citizens, and objects, of Grid. Based on Alvin Toffler’s theory of information overload from his 1970 book Future Shock, the novel tells the story of people living in the final years of the Information/Technology Age as humanity nudges into a new era of advancement. Narrated by a diverse cast, including monastic cultists, overfueled addicts, anti-identity authors, a jethead inventor of a modern religion, a retired hitman, and a sentient phone fraught by love and revolution, a portrait of high-tech civilization emerges in which human beings are abstract and reality takes on a new meaning.
Honorable Mention in Foreword’s 2012 Book of the Year Contest
“…equal parts fast-paced mystery and thoughtful, existential reflection…Grid City Overload is in many ways the Bright Lights, Big City of the current generation.” —Foreword
“The reader is presented with these intersecting narratives and versions of their truth in a world that is speeding increasingly toward an information apocalypse…forces you to examine the amount of information you receive on a daily basis, and how you are receiving it.” —Long Beach Post
“Steven T. Bramble is a writer to watch, and to be reading—not later—but now.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of The Bird is Gone and The Fast Red Road