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A near future sci-fi thriller about the perils of a universal basic income.

In a world gone mad with fake news, rising prices, job automation, and the welfare state, one man struggles to provide for his family and give them a better future than his own. But while it may be too late to save his society from collapse, those who learn the old ways can still find their way.

Free on 30th Jun 21 - 4th Jul 21
View on Amazon.co.uk

Reviews:

"An interesting take of where countries may go in the future"

Reviewer: .


At some point in the future, the Universal Basic Income has risen in price to several hundred thousand dollars each month. Peter and his family are struggling to survive on it, as the inflationary effect of everyone receiving such money has meant that goods have become scarce and in some cases worth more than the money itself. As news of it hits, he knows that if he doesn't spend it now, there will be no goods left at all. Through it all he hopes that he and his wife, Jane, can make enough from other means to break out of the cycle, but they are falling further and further behind. They have a backup plan, but are loathe to use it. Before shopping, they gather their son, Tim, from school even though it carries a high risk. While Jane and Tim hide at home, Peter makes his attempt to go shopping before everyone arrives to spend their money, only to find that the best goods have already been taken by the rich and the gangs are looking for easy targets. As the situation worsens, Peter has to decide if staying is the right thing to do, or if he should go with their backup plan after all.

A near-future short story that has several parallels with real world events. The plot has a simple premise, which is well realised by the author. Hyperinflation causing instability as money loses it's value has been shown several times through out history and the description of the protagonist's life are realistic. The despair and worry they experience comes across clearly and the writing helps to paint the bleak picture of the world they live in. The characters may be briefly sketched out but their hopes and fears drive the story along as they try to survive as best they can. The writing is sharp and to the point, moving the plot on quickly with each scene adding more to show how the world is. It doesn't give away all the detail, but lets the reader fill in some of the gaps and make their own judgement on the situation. I didn't spot any spelling or grammar mistakes and the book is well laid out and easy to read.

Aside from it being an interesting and thought-provoking read, my main quibble is with the Author's note, where it becomes more obvious this is heading towards a polemic and that a key underlying detail is very much up for debate: that a Universal Basic Income will lead directly towards an overblown welfare state and ruination. This means that his key request of making me think about it, only leads me to think that it would be a good thing if sensibly managed. But this is getting beyond the scope of this review.

Overall, it is certainly worth reading, if only for an interesting take of where countries may go in the future.

Rating: 4



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Discussion

Nocturnal Thinker (6 July 2021)
I do agree with your this book is worth reading for there are situations that are really happening. I'm apt to believe that the author has researched much on this issue of inflation and how does it affect the low income people in the community due to the spiraling increase of goods and commodities in the market.

sliara (21 July 2021)
The plot doesn't really catch my attention. I don't think it has a good storyline and it's written very poorly.

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