I just finished reading Beautiful Red by Darusha Whem. Whem has made it available in hardcover, numerous electronic text, and audio form; the latter two available free under Creative Commons licensing. The new-wave distribution ideology suits the subject matter; in the future, corporations literally run everything, and everyone is plugged into the everywherenet – the new internet – by skull-implanted chips.

Well, almost everyone. The story follows Jack as she runs into a group that is radically against machine integration. It’s a fascinating look at how reliant we are on technology; some of the imagery really hit home for me. People on the street slack-jawed and vacant as they log into their virtual worlds – how different is that from staring intently at a smartphone?

The story was hauntingly real, and the world was such that, aside from a few incidental heinous crimes, I would love to live there.

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