Gone Viral

J.A. Knight. Carbon Life, $14.95 trade paper (318p) ISBN 978-0-9987759-0-6
Fans of intelligent thrillers about potential technological threats will relish Knight’s promising debut. After Lenny Driver crashes and burns in his effort to land a job with Blahst, the Massachusetts-based “coolest web company in the world,” his roommate finds him a position with Healthway Research International, a small nonprofit group that focuses on AIDS prevention in third world countries. After Lenny uses up much of the organization’s funding in an unauthorized experiment targeting Burundi, he deploys a viral algorithm that creates personalized appeals for money across a range of social media sites to repair the damage he caused. His scheme quickly raises enough money for Healthway to cover what he spent—and much more, which is sent directly to Burundi. But that influx of cash leads the Burundi government to back out of a deal with a crooked U.S. senator, who asks a shadowy intelligence agent to find out what triggered the windfall. Knight maintains suspense throughout while making her projections about viral social media both plausible and comprehensible to the lay reader. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 06/18/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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