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Hotspot (Auto Series)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2015
Hotspot is another excellent instalment in David Wailing's Auto series.

A thought provoking (and more than mildly chilling) glimpse in the not-so-distant future of social networking, automation technology and their repercussions on our society and interactions.

This outing explored communication and interpersonal relationships in the year 2022...

As always, straight forward and very well thought-through.

Do give it a try, you will not regret it.
JDI, FFS, LOL, CNDB.

p.s. you might be wondering why I only rated this piece, as I did the others in the same series, four stars ("I liked it", which is actually a three stars rating on Goodreads)... that is indeed a difficult one for me to explain rationally...
Although I love David Wailing's writing style, and endeavour to read all and any of his works, I have not found myself loving these stories. I suppose, if I had to rationalise it, it might be due to their stark reality, which I find just too close to home for comfort. That is however just a personal feeling and no reflection whatsoever on this excellent author.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2014
Always a fan of David Wailing’s Auto series, I am glad to see that this new short story has not lost its appeal, far from it. Hotspot is not only a great short story, it is also an in-depth look into the human psyche and our social order. Hidden within the storyline are deep statements about social networking and the social stigmas we place upon ourselves. I am eager to see what happens next, now that Siobhan has found the path to social liberation. Once you have opened that door, there is no going back!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2014
'Hotspot' is another standalone story from David Wailing's popular and successful Auto series. Set in a future where technology runs rampant, this is another tale cleverly mixing humour and something more serious.

David's series is always entertaining but it has often rather chilled me. This story is no different. The writing is deceptively straightforward but details are dropped in casually which, when reflected upon, have sinister Big Brother undertones. Take, for example, Five, the new 5G network; in the club (delightfully named 'Choon'), everyone is connected to Five. "They have no choice, since all the other networks are being blocked." Here is a world where technology makes everything possible and so much easier and yet I get the impression that it is a far more dangerous, controlled world, a place where everyone can be uncontrollably manipulated.

This story differs from other books in the series in that the thriller element is played down. In fact, there is no thriller aspect as such. Instead, the author takes the opportunity to compare and contrast communication in this new world with communication from the old way of living (including, god forbid, talking!) - it's a neat twist on the series. You'll think on the ending, which shows that David's Auto series is, amongst other things, a cautionary tale for our times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2014
This is a great short story set in the not too distant future.
The pace of change in the tech. world makes this not just a believable tale but one that is almost certain to occur.
David Wailing must have a crystal ball.
Thoroughly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is another great story in the Auto series from David Wailing, and one which will provoke much sighing and shaking of heads in those of my age who despair of 'young people looking at their phones all the time and not interacting with real life'. David takes this phenomenon to its natural conclusion, with a disturbing account of possible nightclub culture in the not-too-distant future. I should think that David's main problem with these stories is the very real danger of life imitating art at such a rapid pace that it overtakes his stories!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2014
I recently discovered the Auto series and cannot get enough of them. This is as good as the others. I love the concept and would recommend these books to anyone. They are short stories, easily read with a strong plot and good characterisation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 29 March 2014
I have been a fan of David Wailing for quite some time and his Auto series of short stories, of which this is one, always make for a good, quick thought provoking read. I “like” his vision of the near future, in this case 2022, and his predictions of just how far technology and social media will evolve, to the point where actually talking to people face to face will be something of a social “no no”. It all seems scarily plausible.

In this story we follow student Siobhan on a night out clubbing in London with her friends, and the author really demonstrates just how far he thinks things will go, even to the point of not having to order our drinks at the bar.

It is a cracking little cautionary tale with a definite sting at the end, well worth a read. I particularly liked the huge nod to his first novel Fake Kate, which is a read I absolutely loved. If you haven’t read it, and you like this story, then I heartily recommend it as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2014
I'm a big fan of the author's Auto series. These stories combine to form a world where most people live's are governed (or at least influenced) by their autos. Autos are software entities which handle social interactions in a world dominated by social media.

The strength of these stories is the practical element. These aren't esoteric science fiction, but rather contemporary tales with an interesting sci-fi aspect. They demonstrate the downsides (and occasionally strengths) for such universal reliance on the technology.

Each story adds a new perspective on this all too believable world. In this story we join a young lady on a night out clubbing with her friends. On the surface it's a superficial look but lurking beneath is a bleak study of how technology can isolate us - even within the crowd.

As with his other stories this is very well written and a fine addition to the series.
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