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Old 09-23-2006, 01:48 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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E-book review: Encephalopath by Steve Jordan

We've covered Steve Jordan Books before on MobileRead. He catches our attention with his philosophy of selling non-DRM'd novels at low price points. He also has a book available at his site for free, so you can determine whether or not you like his writing.

It turns out that he's also a very good writer. Others had told me that they liked his stuff, so I decided to give it a try. I started with the free book, The Onuissance Cells. The download is at the bottom of the page, in many formats. It's actually sort of a collection of stories, but it keeps your interest.

Now I'm in the midst of Encephalopath, which he makes available in many non-DRM'd formats for $2.50. It's a great book. My only complaint is that there is a bit more sexual R-rated themes than I would like, but it doesn't dominate the story, and actually probably helps it do well with popular book markets.

The story is about future kinds of communications. An extreme extension of the world wide web, where they have found a way to connect and integrate it directly into your brain. No more typing into computer terminals to access the internet. There are some really creative descriptions of the "link" and potential ramifications. You have intrigue, drama, romance, lots of scifi technology, and of course some corporate spys, government bad guys and more. Somehow it all comes together naturally in the story, so you don't feel like he is forcing the topics.

One of the topics he touches on (in both this one and in The Onuissance Cells) is the subject of skin color. I usually cringe when that is brought up in any book, because there are often such strong emotions pent up in the author, that poison tends to spew out of the pen or keyboard. In this case, Steve uses the futuristic setting to come up with a very interesting way to look at the issues in a very abstract manner. I won't spoil the idea, but if you read the book, be sure to look for it and think a little about the topic. He doesn't dwell on it, so it's really up to you to do the thinking. I found it very interesting.

So if you are looking for more content in addition to Baen's collections or the olders books from Gutenberg or ManyBooks, this is an excellent new author to give a try. For those who want to reward a publisher with a fresh and non-DRM'd approach to book selling, it's also a great way to support the cause. And if you like the book, be sure to send him a note to let him know how much you appreciate his strategy.

Related: Free Steve Jordan Book.
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