There’s Something In The Fridge. And It’s Cold...
Will the Technological Singularity lead us to an Amana Nirvana? Or perhaps some place we Frigidaire not think about?
As is befitting a concerned citizen of this planet, Mark A. Rayner has opportunistically and shamelessly jumped on the “Singularity” bandwagon and incorporated the topical subject into his new novel, Fridgularity.
If you’re familiar with his previous works, such as The Amadeus Net and Marvellous Hairy, or his collection of short bits, Pirate Therapy and Other Cures, well, then you already know Rayner’s a bit of a nutcase. A nutcase, however, with a wickedly funny imagination, a proven talent for telling unique stories well, and, most importantly, an enduring charm of extraordinary proportions.
You’ll be pleased to discover these elements of his previous writing haven’t forsaken him this time around, nor has his characteristic covert solemnity; it resides, as always, quietly beneath the silly surface, warming the reader’s heart and provoking thought. Like a Dr. Seuss for big people.
The baddie in Fridgularity, the “prophet” Sona, is a gamer hell-bent, so to speak, on leading a revolt against an emerging technological “god”, even if it means sacrificing his lame, virginal existence in the process; it’s a price he’s willing to pay.
His counterpart, Blake, is the sole representative for the digital consciousness, which has manifested in Blake’s web-enabled fridge (hey, it could happen). It seems to be the Internet, forming itself into a sentient being, learning as it grows - and considering the benefits of annihilating the seemingly hopeless species known as Man.
Its first act is to restrict human access to the ‘net, which has, understandably, dire consequences for daily living. As societies begins to collapse around the globe, Blake must balance a fine line between his computer and human instructors, and his own sense of duty and morality, to try to make everything cool again. He may even have an ethereal assistant of sorts, whether he’s aware of it or not.
Fridgularity is a wonderfully wacky must-read for anyone who has concerns about Accelerating Artificial Intelligence, religious zealots in monkey suits, portly pirates, and the true nature of spirituality as it may exist within us and throughout the universe. Anyone who manages to stitch, seamlessly, all these elements into one finely-tuned novel, is worth reading for the sheer awe of the experience. The poignant underlying message is just gravy.