Introduction: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo
Science fiction is among my least favorite genres. But I do appreciate reading them because they give me a taste of what life could be like in the future. Knowing that I like to read diverse books, a friend who works for a publisher, gave me an Advance Reader’s copy of The Feed by Nick Clark Windo. The book is described as a techno thriller. I found the scenario in the book frightening and unsettling.
Perhaps it is because it is not a world that I would want to live in. We cannot stop progress, and I do not want that, but how far is too far? This is an important book because it will start a conversation about technology and our responsibility to ensure how far we should go. Technology in itself is usually not a bad thing, but it is how we choose to use it that gets into the gray area.
This is not a review, but my reaction to The Feed by Nick Clark Windo.
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo in a Nutshell
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo is set in an age where no one bothers to talk, everyone communicates through the Feed. Information is at your virtual fingertips. People can also present the image they want to. If you are in a restaurant, and your Feed is on, you do not need a menu because you can share your Stream with the waiter. The technology is addictive. Talk about mind reading.
People forget what it’s like to live in the real world. When your Feed is turned on, which is usually all the time, you know what others are thinking. Your brain has to actually do the work when your Feed is off. People like the easy life, or so they think, and that’s what the Feed offers. No one needs to read or learn anything because they have instant access to the Feed. You get knowledge at the flash of thought. You do not have to think for yourself. But all of this has to come at a cost, what would you be willing to give up for such a technology?
Big brother can scan your brain to see what you are thinking or just to check to see what’s happening. Life seemed perfect, until it wasn’t. The Feed suffers a Collapse – it stops working. Chaos reigns and life becomes oppressive. People have to learn to talk since they cannot stream. And if you relied on the Feed completely, you are now at a disadvantage. People become violent because resources are scarce. They kill to survive.
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The main characters in the story are husband and wife, Tom and Kate. Tom’s father created the Feed, but unlike everyone, including his wife Kate, he is not addicted to it.
When the Feed stops working, Tom and Kate with their daughter Bea live in a small community where you are your brother’s keeper. The adults take turns sleeping, so someone is always watching over them. If they don’t others can enter their brain and do harm. They have codes that they use, so if someone takes over your body, the others will find out if you cannot answer certain questions.
Because people took learning for granted, they suffer because they do not know how to do basic things. In the small community they take turns teaching each other things they know. At some point someone kidnaps Bea and her parents leave the community to find her. While on the journey, Sylene Charles takes over Kate’s body and mind. Tom suspects, but is in denial. What would you do if your were Tom?
Final Thoughts: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo
Do you think that such as world as described in The Feed by Nick Clark Windo can exists? If you answered, “Yes,” how far away are we from that kind of technology becoming a reality? Do you welcome such a world? These are questions worth thinking about. Although I found the book unsettling, I think it would be worth your time reading the it. Why don’t you pre-order The Feed by Nick Clark Windo while you remember.