Anna Glover is not a war criminal, but that doesn’t mean that she isn’t treated as such by the public at large. Blamed for giving the United States and United Kingdom a reason to wage war with China during her former life as an air crash investigator, she now works to build an experimental synapse sequencer which accesses the memories of multiple witnesses to reconstruct pivotal events, a technology that its owner, Jake Morley, wants to monetize for use in London’s judicial system. Desperate to prove the value of the project — and, by extension, herself — Anna flings herself into the seemingly minor case of a foster teen beaten into a coma. As she dives deeper into N’Golo Durrant’s life, she realizes that the very underpinnings of modern society are in jeopardy… and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The synapse sequencer is a fascinating fictional construct. In Daniel Godfrey’s hands, this exploration of memory and technology becomes a cautionary tale of the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and politics, and makes for thought-provoking reading. I did not personally believe in Mr Godfrey’s depiction of life on a Universal Income (essentially a guaranteed basic income which has been tried to great success in certain European countries in real life,) but I definitely appreciate the dilemmas raised as the plot unfolded. How much of our lives are we willing to cede to authority and technology? How much of memory is reality as opposed to perception? Twisty and bleak but not without its own cautious optimism, The Synapse Sequencer is the kind of dystopian thriller that will have you reevaluating what you think you know about your relationship with modern tech.
Stay tuned for an interview with the author within the next few weeks!