C.T. Phipps's Reviews > Drones

Drones by Rob J. Hayes
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it was amazing
bookshelves: cyberpunk

DRONES is the latest work by Rob J. Hayes who is probably my favorite independent author today. His THE TIES THAT BIND books were what got me into grimdark storytelling and I absolutely love his BEST LAID PLANS and IT TAKES A THIEF duologies. So, when I heard he was going to do a dedicated cyberpunk novel I was absolutely there.

So, is Drones any good? Yes, yes it is. It is a big departure from his usual work but I have to say that's not a bad thing. It reminds me very strongly of the movie STRANGE DAYS starring Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassett. The premise of Strange Days was about the sharing of memories as the new drug of choice in the future. Drones is a related concept about the sharing of emotions as a soon-to-be-legalized drug.

Garrick is a Drone, which in the future is basically a junkie who allows himself to be milked of emotions in order to get money as well as feel the bliss of complete oblivion. Garrick doesn't actually WANT to feel emotions but instead wants the privilege of being numbed as is the side-effect of being harvested. He goes through life in a complete daze and occasionally has sex to get his endorphins up as well as sell that emotion. Garrick used to be a soldier but he's really running away from the pain of his lost daughter. One day, Garrick finds out his dealer has been murdered and he's now irrelevant as the companies are producing their own emotions without the need of Drones.

Garrick is a complicated character as he's a pretty accurate depiction of a junkie. Despite the fact he can, when motivated, kill as well as plan with the best of them--what he wants is always just another fix. It dominates him, his morality, and his relationships to others. The need to have his emotions purged and achieve a perfect oblivion is everything to him. It doesn't make him likable but he's not supposed to be even as he manages to survive against the people against him because no one takes him seriously as a threat--and under normal circumstances, he wouldn't be.

This is an excellent cyberpunk novel and has some nice parallels to the War on Drugs, legalization argument, pharmaceutical handling of opiods, PTSD, and just being a good story itself. It's not a happy story and Garrick isn't a particularly charismatic lead given he's a degenerate burnout but it's a fascinating one and just decent sci-fi.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
May 17, 2018 – Shelved
May 17, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 26, 2018 – Shelved as: cyberpunk

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Rob (new) - added it

Rob Hayes Would you like a review copy or have you already got one?

C.T. Phipps Rob wrote: "Would you like a review copy or have you already got one?"

I always buy the copies of the authors I can just barley tolerate like you, my friend. Now get on the next It Takes a Thief book! :)

message 3: by Rob (new) - added it

Rob Hayes Hah! That'll be a while yet. Next on my list is a new First Earth trilogy. :D

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