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Zero Bomb

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  238 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The near future. Following the death of his daughter Martha, Remi flees the north of England for London. Here he tries to rebuild his life as a cycle courier, delivering subversive documents under the nose of an all-seeing state.

But when a driverless car attempts to run him over, Remi soon discovers that his old life will not let him move on so easily. Someone is leaving c
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Titan Books
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Average rating 3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  238 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, scifi
I didn’t realise until the end of ‘Zero Bomb’ that I’d read something else by the same author using a slightly different pen name, The Folded Man. My reaction to both was broadly similar: potentially interesting ideas and world-building details, but rather a lack of substance. In the case of ‘Zero Bomb’, the blurb clearly states the central theme: automation of people’s jobs. Unfortunately the book then doesn’t have much to say about it. The main characters are caught up in a mysterious conspira ...more
Kirsty Stanley
A clever speculative fiction/dystopia exploring the effects of automation on society. For me it felt almost like a cross between Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Terminator with shades of Station Eleven.

The book is told in 5 parts. Part 1 focuses on Remi and most closely follows the synopsis, Part 2 is an abridged version of sci-fi novel The Cold Veil (Prologue, Ch 1, Ch 13 and Epilogue), Part 3 is one sided correspondence from a woman in the cause on how they target Remi, Part 4 focuse
Krystelle Zuanic
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
The first bit of this book was very interesting and reeled me in straight off. Post-modern Britain engaged in a super surveillance state whilst also losing much of their core workforce to automation? Fascinating. However, it took a weird turn after being introduced to Rupal (which I could not read without reading ‘Rupaul’) and just went down the tubes. I understand it’s a homage to the genre, and having vacuumed up as much classic sci-fi as I possibly could during my childhood, I see the influen ...more
J.L. Slipak
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

Well, this is definitely different. It’s a science fiction that throws a pitch against technological advancements, automation and England itself by using complicated character developments, fragmented plotting and shifting POVs that are often confusing and conflicting. Bizarre and often typical of this type of science fiction, this book reaks with audacity.

There’s some hidden truths within this book’s pages often hinting at what w
Markus Svensson
Modern day dystopia with a sometimes nice surreal twist. This feels like a very british Brexit-version of the classic man again machine-theme we know from the dystopia genre. Really liked the surreal animal/machine symbiosis and the very engaging first third of the book, but wanted it sometimes to be even more "out-there" sometimes. Didn´t really care for the post-modern genre-blending, though. So, all in all, engaging, but not life-changing. ...more

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*I was provided with a copy by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was a very different type of novel then I’m used to, but I thought that I would give it a try, as the premise sounded interesting enough to me and I’m a sucker for a good cover. I didn’t know what to expect with this one and I’m still not quite sure what to make of it, as there were things that I liked an
Panna Fox
Jan 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
I am gonna have to go with a "no" for this one. Started off really well: Remi loses his 7 year-old daughter and can not cope with that. Moves to London from Manchester to try to sort out his life. And then it gets super-weird. Don't get me wrong: the idea is pretty solid: there is a bunch of people who have a bad feelings about all this automatic world and wants to start a revolution against in before the electronic world takes over humanity.
But you can not write such a story on 300 pages. No ca
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new writer for me but it’s a very clever and brilliant look at how fears for the future can make it even worse
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Ultimately, Zero Bomb might have lofty goals but it never bothers try and reach them.

It wants to examine how technology and automation affect society, particularly replacing human workers. The tag line is "what do we do when technology replaces our need to work?" but it never really asks that nor does it try to provide any answers. There's some mentions of universal basic income and a driverless car, but otherwise there wasn't that much automation. The only attempt at commentary came in snippets
Tom Brailli
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I want to write a spoiler free review, which is difficult.

I’ll read anything with Nina Allan’s name on the cover, even if it is just a recommendation. And, to be fair, this was roughly what I’d expect from one of Allen’s books. There’s a confused narrative, with multiple narrators who are all, to varying extents, unreliable. The middle section of the book is mostly in the form of partially-recovered documents that bridge the gap between the first and last sections, while also contradicting them.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A simple, easy read; ostensibly a post-Brexit dystopia, touching on job automation, universal credit, disenfranchisement and radicalisation, without discussing any of them in any detail, and throughout Hill is seeming to reach towards the ambitions of other, better books rather than writing something of his own.

Interesting opening section, dealing in a sympathetic portrait of an ordinary man and what leads him to terrible acts - though the surreal aspects seem like pretensions towards the works
A.K. Alliss
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of this novel and this review is of my own choosing

Hill intrigues again with his original brand of Brit-Cyberpunk. I do hesitate to throw this in the Cyberpunk barrel because all of his works strike from their own source rather than be derivative of anything currently or previously written.

With a story that begins straight forward enough, Hill quickly pulls an impressive literary sleight of hand to quickly move things off kilter. Commencing with a man, working
Rhiannon Mills
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
The picture of the near future M.T. Hill paints in Zero Bomb is most certainly a worrying one. Even more troublesome than the automation and technology mentioned in the blurb (above) is the notion that this future laid out in broad strokes could nearly become a reality. It’s absolute brilliance and I loved it.

I did find characterization to be slightly less than I would have liked. Remi, as a father, is fully fleshed out, but I didn’t get to see much of him outside of fatherhood and I think a lit
Trash Panzer
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book left me with a lot to think about. I'm sure I'll be rereading it in a year or so, with fresh eyes, as history and technology move onward. There's a transition from one narrative to another (related) one halfway through the book that was somewhat jarring, but that feels like it was meant to be. It's weird because I almost feel more could have been done with this mechanic, but I'm not sure what I would have added or done differently. Hill's descriptions of life are as bleak and downtrodd ...more
Stephanie A.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Literally have no idea what I just read. I could not tell you the actual plot. The prose was stilted and had me nodding off a lot. I ended up having to skim just to get through it. It was just boring. I hated Remi. I didn’t care about any characters. They were all just bland and nothing. I really have nothing to say about this book. It’s told in five different parts. Two of them being character povs, then three chapters of the fictional book mentioned, a one-sided correspondence and then a final ...more
Henk Foriers
May 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
This science fiction novel is set in the near future (of which some parts are soon to be the past). It tells the story of the fear for technology and sounds sometimes (too) familiar. It is unclear who the real protagonist in the story is, but the structure of the novel is well thought out. The author tries to recreate the epic storylines of the sf-novels of the seventies and eighties. This, however, is not an undivided success. At the end of the book the reader is not kept in doubt about his own ...more
Steph Bennion
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Hmm... Well, the blurb says, "Zero Bomb is a startling science fiction mystery that asks: what do we do when technology replaces our need to work?". Not for me it didn't. The book doesn't really go into depth around this question - ideas like universal basic income get the briefest of mentions - but it has some interesting ideas about radicalisation, albeit thinly plotted. In the end I just didn't care for any of the protagonists. It was the cover that drew me to this one...! ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
The only thing that lifted the book to two stars was the fox. The action loses all hope of linearity, after doing 2 or 3 jumps across time, with no real value. No story finishes, although there is a great character development, when you get attached/empathise to either of the characters, it jumps to a different, really unrelated story. Has a vague concept of SF, but it is actually more like exploiting current technology with a twist.
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Our hero faces a woozy nightmare courtesy of the technology surrounding him in this near-future British-set sci-fi, but over the halfway mark it changes into a quite different narrative.

For my full review, please click through to see it at:-
Kevin Mombourquette
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Torn on the rating between 3 and 4 but I think that is because I was plowing through it to get further into my reading any case it was jarring, unsettling, darkly comic and original. Also, add me to the list of people that would love to read a fully realized version of the novel at the center of the mayhem.
Louise Smith
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unlike anything I’ve read before, in a really good way! I loved the different styles of the different sections and how they wove together, and there are parts that hooked me in so much that I literally missed my tube stop for work one day, I was so engrossed. Ridiculously imaginative, kind of terrifying, and really well written.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
There was a lot of stuff I didn't like about this novel, including the entire first section (which is a bit of a drawback), but I loved the 1970s dystopian novel-within-a-novel. I also loved the whole of the last section, which moves the action to a near-future English rural setting that is way more interesting than the over-familiar techie London of the beginning of the book. ...more
Mason Jones
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Unfortunately this one didn't grab me. It seemed to have a lot going for it: interesting, depressing near-future Britain, a cybernetic fox, weird unreliable narrator. But it was slow going, and the protagonist wasn't particularly sympathetic. Once I hit part two, a novel-in-the-novel sci-fi tale, I couldn't stay interested. ...more
Vincent Hernot
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some very good ideas, a good premise, some nice thoughts about the possible way things could turn out, all with a fine (but not exceptional) plot.
Its better than Graft, which lost its way at times - it's shorter, too, which probably helps.
It may also be the first Post-Brexit novel, which, for that alone, makes it a worthy novel.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
The problem with all science fiction is that it turns into a philosophical treatise. Same as is with this book which is either against automation or for automation ( I was not able to figure it out). Hopefully no one makes this into a movie cos no one will see it or understand it.
Mary Anne
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
There are several narratives in this novel and the transitions between scenes are quite jarring. Did the author not want to link them more closely? Perhaps the jarring effect is to demonstrate how disparate we are coming as individuals.
Angela Groves
This was a slow burner for me. The first part seemed to have little direction, and in parts seemed, implausable. However, perseverance paid off, the ending was satisfying and pulled together the confusion well.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
The writing style annoyed me to the point where I couldn't finish it. I can't put my finger on exactly what annoyed me about the book, but I would read a chapter, get annoyed, and put it down for a week.
Anita Redit
I think this is one of those books that's difficult to read on a kindle. I felt a need to flip back and forth a lot to understand what was happening, as the plot moved through time. It's a bit more awkward to do this on a kindle. Enjoyed the beginning, found the fox really intriguing, but the jumping around of the plot left me a bit confused and frustrated and I found it hard to commit to the characters. ...more
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