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Fluence by [Oram, Stephen]
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Fluence Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 333 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

"Extraordinarily gifted, detailed and believable. The author has created a vivid and frightening vision and the believable world just around the corner is an outstanding feature of this novel. The world of 'Fluence' may soon be upon us and we must act to stop a pulsating piece of fiction becoming our terrible reality." - Paul Simon, 'Morning Star'

About the Author

Stephen Oram writes thought provoking stories that mix science fiction with social comment, mainly in a recognisable near-future. He is the Author in Residence at Virtual Futures, once described as the 'the Glastonbury of cyberculture'. He has collaborated with scientists and future-tech people to write short stories that create debate about potential futures, most recently with the Human Brain Project and Bristol Robotics Laboratory as part of the Bristol Literature Festival. As a teenager he was heavily influenced by the ethos of punk. In his early twenties he embraced the squatter scene and was part of a religious cult, briefly. He did some computer stuff in what became London's silicon roundabout and is now a civil servant with a gentle attraction to anarchism. He has two published novels, 'Quantum Confessions' and 'Fluence', and several shorter pieces.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2279 KB
  • Print Length: 333 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1781323631
  • Publisher: SilverWood Books (26 Jun. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ZYDU69I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Well, what a terrific concept - a dystopian world in which our lifestyle, including home, salary and social life, is entirely dependent on our social media status. Stephen Oram tells a compelling story here, deftly folding enough present day concepts in together with intriguing futuristic inventions, to summon up a new world order that is all too easy for us to believe in - we can see how the current London could morph into the one in this book.

While the demands of a world governed by online point-scoring wear away at the humanity and morals of the characters, there are also some developments thrown in that don't seem half bad e.g. trains that are programmed to run only when they're at optimum capacity. I think the author must have had a lot of fun along the way in developing his ideas, although overall it's a chilling story, reminding us how easy it would be for us as a society to lose our moral compass, aided by technological developments.

A very enjoyable read, and a very visual one, with lots of details about clothing, food and drink, and some fun, playful touches e.g. a couple feeling very daring for making cakes from raw ingredients, which has become an exciting adventure in such an automated world. The storytelling is very cinematic at points, and it would make a great film.

This is the second novel I've read by Stephen Oram, and I'll definitely be looking forward to reading more by this author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable read. An excellent example of its genre with characters that I really invested in.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked this – A LOT. It offers an edgy, well-plotted and unnerving snapshot of a fictional society.

Given today’s craving for the next profile ‘like’ and daily updates we all seem to be compelled to comply with, this plot doesn’t seem too implausible. Imagine a world where you can lose or gain points at the drop of a hat if an online status update is not deemed popular enough. A real time popularity contest that can affect your quality of life is a frightening concept.

Whatever points you have gained through posting your updates are accrued as ‘Fluence’ until the next ‘pay day’. The grand total will be converted into a colour-coded status for the forthcoming year. This can determine where you shop, your choice of partner, and the area in which you live – class segregation is common place…

Some of the impoverished and vulnerable are stressed out by the constant need provide interesting status updates in exchange for Fluence on their ruyi, a portable mobile phone-like stick everyone carries round. Sounding oddly familiar yet?

There’s so much at stake for the characters here, and their posts have a danger of becoming outrageous to draw in the crowd. Often the need for more likeability points goes hand-in-hand with an ugly greed. This book singles out the most demeaning acts that people are willing to carry out to ‘achieve’ their goals, all driven by a desperate need to become a better ‘class’ of person, which is quite ironic. These acts are described in graphic detail, but this only reinforces what people are willing to sacrifice.

The two main characters, Amber and Martin, are part of a disability assessment team. They determine if people are fit to work, or if they can be funded by their government.
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Format: Kindle Edition
e life where there is no Government, the supermarkets have grown so big they rule the roost, and social media determines your place in society not money, or birth, or where you live or go to school.

Fluence tells the reality of this imagined world, where in an England not too different from our own people are battling it out on social media to gain fluence which will see them rise to a better colour, a better colour means a better job, home, lifestyle, friends, and even more fluence!

It's not hard to imagine a world where this is a reality, with our Governments' so easily controlled by big business, and people so easily controlled by social media.

Fluence tells the story of two main characters, Amber a young social climber who will do just about anything to get where she believes she belongs, back to yellow which she dropped down from at the last annual pay day for love, something she has evidently fallen out of love with.

Amber is ruthless, and with her knowledge of how the strata (social media) algorithm's work she plays the system with determination and assurity.

Martin on the other hand is an ex-hacker but now a worn out family man, he just wants to stay where he is in Green, he's terrified of letting his family down but whatever he does his fluence score just keeps dropping. In his quest to try and find just enough points to scrape through the points barrier he finds himself faced with questions he never thought he would have to answer.

Amber and Martin work at the same place, the Bureaucracy, and as the story unfolds, their stories start to entwine in unexpected ways.
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