A while ago I read Douglas Thompson's Sylvow and liked it very much, because it was a bit different kind of a science fiction book. Apoidea is also a different kind of a book, but it isn't as weird a book as Sylvow (Apoidea is more accessible and much easier to read than Sylvow).
Before I write more about this book, I'll mention that I enjoyed reading it. It's great that The EXAGGERATED Press has decided to publish this book, because big publishers tend to avoid publishing this kind of intelligent "indie science fiction".
Here's a bit of information about the story:
Apoidea is a fascinating book about Gert Villers and a near future world without bees. Because all the bees died, they were replaced by specially designed robot bees, apoidroids. Pollination is now handled with robot bees. Gert is the inventor of robot bees and he has profound moral views about how his invention should be used to make mankind's life better and what shouldn't happen. He is a rich man, because he has earned a lot of money with his invention. Military is very interested in using the apoidroids for military purposes and other companies are interested in developing the apoirdroids further to take care of several things. Gert's life changes when Del Freemont, an ex-employee of the Apoidroid company, tries to control the bees with a virus and begins to change things. Gert thinks that Del is responsible for the new behaviour of the bees. He becomes a prisoner and he has to ponder several different things. He notices that it's difficult to trust certain people and his life changes completely...
The disapperance and death of the bees is an interesting and also challenging concept, because bees are vital to humankind's survival. We'd be in serious trouble if the bees were to vanish off the face of the Earth, because bees take care of crop pollination etc. Albert Einstein has said that human race would last only four years in a world without bees and that's undoubtedly true, because the survival of human race is directly linked to the survival of bees.
Apoidea is basically a near future science fiction thriller, but in my opinion it's also much more than that. It's a story about one man's life, his choices and his ideas. It's interesting that Gert compares himself to great historical figures and worries about what's going to happen when things go wrong and how his robot bees are going to be used to different purposes. Douglas Thompson gives the reader several hints about what might happen when good creations fall into wrong hands and they're used to evil purposes.
Douglas Thompson has clearly spent a lot of time gathering information about bees and technology before writing this book. His research has paid off, because Apoidea is intelligent fiction for adults. Although Apoidea is a short book, it's full of good fiction and that's why it's almost possible to call it "high literature".
The author writes sophisticatedly about the new inventions and handles philosophical elements in a perfect way without preaching. He also writes fluently about Gert's family life and his relationship to his wife, daughter and son. The conversations between Gert and Marielle (Gert's wife) and Gert's conversations with the robot bees are interesting. During the course of the book these and other conversations reveal how Gert thinks and feels about several things.
I noticed that the author mentioned two major software companies, Lemon and Winterra, in this book. They were led by Steve Dobs and Bill Yates. These names were amusing, because I'm sure that everybody knows where they come from.
After reading Sylvow and Apoidea I can say that Douglas Thompson has his own literary voice. In my opionion Douglas Thompson is an author to watch, because he writes fascinating and intelligent science fiction books.
Apoidea is a fast-paced, exciting and thought-provoking science fiction book, which will be of interest to several fans of quality science fiction. It's a fine example of an intelligent and interesting near future science fiction book, because the author writes philosophically about politics and technology.