“The Lead Cloak,” by Erik Hanburg

This is a Sci-Fi story of a future where a scientific breakthrough has made it possible to predict the position every atom of the universe at any time in the past. Including the very recent past. Okay, a tall order, but not too out of line with some of the predictions of quantum physics. We can suspend our disbelief.

The premise of the tale is that this ability allows a molecular-level Internet where there are no secrets, because everyone’s actions, including their thoughts, are instantly available to the world. A harder pill for the believer to swallow, but fascinating in where the author thinks this might take society.

And the society Erik Hanburg pictures is not wonderful. It is a society where people ignore a lot of the things that make us human, because the Lattice does it for them. There is a very real possibility that the whole human race is addicted to this technology.

Enter Byron Shaw, full supporter of the Lattice and all it stands for. Saved from kidnappers by the Lattice, he has become the head of security for the Lattice complex itself, protecting it from the luddites who want to destroy it.

Until he starts to wonder…

And that’s what this story is really about. Inside all the wonderful science, quasi-science, and downright fiction is the tale of a man who begins to question his strongest beliefs, how he feels as he moves through that journey, and where it takes him.

The concept of the Lattice is a powerful device for the writer, because we have a pure Omniscient point of view; we can zoom anywhere and to any thought of any character, past or present. This could lead to overkill, but Hanburg uses the technique with consummate skill, giving us just enough information on the emotions and desires of the characters to create empathy and move the plot along.

Except for that little nudge of extra belief that we must have to keep us from nit-picking about the believability of the science, this book has the perfect balance of high-tech, suspense, empathy, believable emotion, and modern application that makes a great Sci-Fi story.

Highly recommended for fans of all Sci-Fi, especially of the dystopian variety.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


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