THE APPLICATION SAID
Don’t Overthink The Application Said by Christoph Brueck is a collection of disturbing psychological short stories, where we enter a world in 2040 in which technological advancement has progressed at an alarming rate. Each story will take you on an unforgettable journey into the future where the human mind and data are fast becoming a perfect hybrid. Included in the compilation, a man whose medical procedures for weight loss and aging go against all safety regulations. He believes he is invincible until one of his patients enters his surgery with a chilling proposal.
A hotel is taken over by an artificial intelligence rogue and soon becomes the meeting place for every illegal activity. When a young girl enters into a pact with a demon to play a game called Purgatory, she is plunged into a dark world where each level becomes increasingly horrifying. When the police are privatized to appease the Nationalists parties, it opens the door to an organization that arranges Hunting Parties where any illegal immigrant becomes their prey.
The plots of each short story are not only compelling but every one would make a fantastic full novel. The characters are palpably realistic and interesting and have been created with so much detailed consideration. I especially enjoyed the suspense and exciting plot twists in each story. I could not choose a favorite, as each one had me on the edge of my seat. The subject matter also covers some current issues such as artificial intelligence, the issues with illegal immigration, the environment, and the privatization of the police. What does make this collection quite thought-provoking is that everything covered in the stories could become a reality as technology advances. How close are we to robots becoming so intellectually advanced that they could take over a human mind?
The author’s storytelling ability is absolutely superb as he throws in so many plot red herrings and the development of the story and areas of conflict were absolute perfection. Don’t Overthink The Application Said by Christoph Brueck is an absolute must-read for anyone who appreciates a solid storyline with unforgettable characters.
‘Don’t Overthink the Application Said’ is a challenging collection of future technology stories woven by Christopher Brueck into a mosaic of interesting glimpses of human/machine interaction. In time to come, mankind will be connected to an intelligent world-wide network that helps people, and offers opportunities for criminals and enterprising individuals to conduct business in cyberspace without getting caught – most of the time. Christopher Brueck takes existing computer and AI technology and extrapolates it into something altogether very feasible, and perhaps frightening for some. Each story gives readers a window into a possible future, replicated with the same theme, which after a while loses its attraction and gets boring. Nevertheless, lovers of cyberspace pushed to the extreme will enjoy these stories.
‘Repent, the App Demon Said’ – Lisa met the demon in the subway, and entered the Purgatory game. The devil told her that once the game starts, she cannot abort it, regardless of consequences. In the game, she would fight, suffer, experience terror, and atone for her sins. She looked forward to this. After all, it was only a game. Then the tests started, and they turned out to be much more than a VR game. ‘Decypher me’ – Rico Tremmel sat on top of a Singapore five-star hotel waiting for his contact. He swallowed the nanorobot pills that connected him to the global computing net … and waited. He had a problem. One of his programs was used to kill someone, and people were now after him. The situation becomes very interesting when he finds the killer. ‘Proxy-by-Nature’ – The data-glasses allows an individual to enter someone else, or an AI machine, and become that person or device. The device can also be used to kill. At 97, bedridden, Hiyaki liked doing odd jobs to keep himself occupied. This time, his target was a young woman. ‘Don’t Overthink the Application Said’ – When Anton broke up with his girlfriend, he sought help to adjust. Instead of getting a real shrink, his insurance connected him to a virtual app. Despite reservations discussing intimate things with an AI program, Anton is drawn into revealing himself, and got more than he bargained for.
Christoph Brueck’s Don’t Overthink The Application Said is a riveting collection of short science fiction stories. At first glance, they may seem independent, much like standalones in a series, but reading on reveals they are somehow related to each other. Set in the year 2040, the stories reveal the best of humanity’s dark side which is further amplified by advanced technologies like artificial intelligence. Told from the perspectives of diverse characters, Brueck is able to tackle social issues like bullying, company politics, health and death, and problematic beauty standards.
It starts with a mysterious tone — an interesting and compelling ride that turns into something horrifyingly good. Christoph Brueck is amaster storyteller who crafts his tales by showing and not just telling. His writing immerses you in the world, gives you what you need, and makes you feel the action. Every chapter is only a few pages long but they are sufficient enough to see how smartly the stories are thought out. Every chapter is a different story but they do not lose the audience, as the previous one is just as engaging as the next. The book draws its power and elegance from its simplicity.
The language may be simple but it is filled with great imagery. The plot for each chapter may also be simple but it has a nice flow and just the right amount of surprise. Packed with an unexpected intensity, Don’t Overthink The Application Said is highly recommended for readers looking for a bone-chilling and nail-biting sci-fi adventure.
Review by E.C. Davis
The author of this book came to me for my editorial services, and I have no regrets in helping him with reviewing his stories. The writing style of these stories is amazing, and his characterization and world building provides a level of empathy and understanding for the character that you do not see in many science fiction works. Usually, the characters and worlds are static, and the reader has no connection to the plot and themes. However, each of these stories provides a new and interesting take on one world, forcing the reader to see things that they may not want to see. With all the technology of this futuristic society, what are the consequences? The author asks this in every one of his stories, and show how, in many ways, the people of their world are no different in their motivations, beliefs and needs than we are now. My two favourite stories out of all of these were “Repent, the App Demon Said,” and “Remember the Prey.” These two particularly held my attention, as they focused on aspects of a futuristic, technology-based lifestyle that might not be immediately visible to the consumer. The first, with its focus on a demonic app that forces people to look at their sins and repent in a sick game, makes us look at our own faults, and asks the question of what is right and wrong, and how our wishes to fit in may take us too far. The second, “Remember the Prey,” is a chilling commentary on right-wing nationalism. Its focus on a company sending out hunting parties to capture immigrants at the borders creates a chilling perspective on the hidden and dark underbelly of the idealistic society the authors have created. It shows that, really, nothing changes in terms of fear and nationalist ideas. It also is written in a brilliant style, making the whole idea seem chillingly normal. I believe I can say that, as the beta reader of this book, I was very pleased with its quality. I would highly recommend it as a read for anyone interested in political science fiction!