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Zero Calvin #1


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Calvin Jones, a computer programmer in his mid-twenties, decides to skip work and meet his girlfriend at the beach instead. However, because of an accident, a trip to the hospital, death, and cryogenic freezing, he never quite makes it there. When Calvin is revived, he finds himself in a utopian society three hundred years in the future. But every society has its peculiarities.

This one happens to be governed by an artificial intelligence named Ariel. Using Ariel, this society has been able to identify its stupid, lazy, or otherwise detrimental individuals --and kill them. The result is a civilization of intelligent, hardworking inhabitants--except for Calvin.

Will Calvin be able to adapt to his new surroundings, or will the learning curve be too steep for him to survive?


First published November 12, 2003

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About the author

Brian Cramer

8 books12 followers
Brian Cramer was born in New Jersey. Because of several failed attempts to escape the mysterious pull of the Garden State, he still lives there. He works for a custom cable assembly manufacturer and enjoys nature, technology, anime, the universe, and a hot cup of tea.

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5 stars
6 (23%)
4 stars
8 (30%)
3 stars
9 (34%)
2 stars
1 (3%)
1 star
2 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah-Jayne Briggs.
Author 1 book46 followers
February 20, 2014
(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).

(This review may contain spoilers).

I found this book to be an entertaining read from the get-go.

Calvin was an interesting character and I felt that the situations he found himself in were realistic and made sense for the storyline.

I found a lot of this book to be quite amusing, but at the same time, I thought the culture shock and everything did make sense. I felt the author did a really good job of portraying the problems there were while having it come across in a humorous way. There were a few times in the book I did actually find myself laughing out loud.

I did think that the lessons were kind of showing rather than telling. I think it would have been better to have all of the history revealed gradually. It was probably just me, but I found it a bit difficult to read through the long explanations.

The technology was pretty cool, though the system killing people is kind of creepy - more so after the whole thing with the dog.

I did like the de javu thing with Calvin keeping on waking up. That was one of the things that was fairly interesting. The nurse originally didn't seem all that smart, though, to leave a patient who was in a bad way after giving him forms to fill out. (The policemen who came to the crash seemed rather dumb, too, in my opinion).

On the whole, the descriptions were good, but I did notice quite a few errors in the writing - compliment used instead of complement, for example. Still, I did like reading this book. I've started reading the second one now, too.
1,148 reviews26 followers
February 16, 2014
An explosive futuristic fest that’s quirky, idiosyncratic and fresh!

If you love scintillating sci-fi, technology and utopian societies then Zero Calvin will not disappoint. Full of tongue-in-cheek humor and hilarious irony {sometimes satirical} I spent many hours entertained by this witty debut. Incredibly clever and at times almost genius, the concepts created by the author I found to be most innovative. Like an eclectic mix of ‘The Matrix’ and Douglas Adams ‘Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy’ this highly original story is a remarkable feat.

If you are a fan of stories that incorporate comedy and satire into science-fiction, {like for instance Futurama etc.} then this will greatly appeal, as the plausible scenarios and eccentricity of narrative will enchant. The riddles, the absurdity and the bizarreness of characters and plot makes this unexpected story like ‘Marmite’ – in that you either LOVE it or not.

I have high expectations that this assured narrative will delight many readers of Pratchett, Adams and such like who will be most impressed by this *new* fictional wonder.
Personally it is not entirely to my taste {as a reader of the more serious, classic science fiction} and so hence my rating of 3.5 Stars.

I am so pleased to have had the opportunity of reading Zero Calvin by Brian Cramer, due to winning a physical copy of his book through a first-read giveaway on Goodreads. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I would recommend to fans of this genre and style of story.

Profile Image for Michael Carter.
Author 30 books83 followers
August 16, 2014
I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked it from the very first line.It uses techniques that I thought were funny and clever. The plot was very reminiscent of Futurama with Calvin beng Fry and Tarpa being Leela. This adds to the enjoyment of the introductory parts of the book.
I found the pace quick and the ending surprising and nicely built up to.
The descriptions of the future are really great, no boring details but some really intriguing ideas.
It would have been five stars but I didn't like the main character's delight in killing. And also it is quite a short novel.
I do recommend it and have purchased two more from this author, the next in the series and the first of a new series.
May 28, 2014
Absolutely fascinating take on what the future would be like with an AI in charge!! The world building was amazing, and every nook and cranny of this possible future was investigated. Who knew Tang and Guano could be so useful, gross but useful. Karma is the new currency and they have ways of dealing with delinquent and nefarious citizens (which I think would work out great for our current society). It is a quick, sarcastic read and really promising start to the series which hopefully will be out soon
Profile Image for Tammy Hastings.
74 reviews3 followers
February 18, 2014
I received this through First Reads Giveaways.

It was a pretty decent book. It had some grammatical/structural issues that really bugged me, hence the three stars. Content alone, it probably deserved four stars, but the book could have really benefited from some strong editing.

However, I did enjoy the book. It has a very Terry Prachett meets Red Dwarf vibe. Throw in JUST a splash of Nathan Fillion's character from Firefly, and you've got Zero Calvin.

I recommend it to all lovers of goofy sci-fi books.
Profile Image for Darrul.
5 reviews
July 29, 2014
I like books with this theme - the protagonist displaced into a completely foreign environment. The author does a good job describing the futuristic environment and I enjoyed the book. The negatives were too much telling versus showing and several grammar/spelling issues.
Profile Image for Jordan.
4 reviews10 followers
February 18, 2014
Good book, kept me very intrigued all the way through. Definitely check it out you wont be disappointed.
Profile Image for Anthony O'Connor.
Author 4 books21 followers
August 18, 2015
futurama meets robocop.
A fun book. Fast, slick, breezy, humorous and cynical all at the same time. I am intrigued as to what will happen next. A bit too flippant in places.
Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 reviews

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