I give Post-Human one thumb up. Readers will find exciting--if not always believable--action hobbled by flat characters in this self-published novel by David Simpson. Post-Human tells how James Keats, the hero, and his girlfriend Thel Cleland fight to preserve the last vestiges of humanity from a nanotechnology menace.
I confess I read Post-Human to check out the hype. Amazon customers have downloaded almost 100,000 copies of Post-Human and its prequels and sequels. Clearly, the author is managing his promotion of the books well. I read the book to see if he had a good product or if his success was entirelybased on promotion.
The writing in Post-Human reminds me of the novels of Steve Alten, who wrote a series of books about Megalodon sharks wreaking havoc in the modern world. The science reminds me of the Tom Swift, Jr novels I read in elementary school. Neither comparison is a compliment to Simpson’s book; but whether I like it or not, David Simpson's writing is professional (barely), and the quality of his technological imagination is commercial (barely). For a self-published novel, Post-Human is certainly acceptable, if not above average. Simpson has a good product. It’s just not my cup of tea.
I can make a four observations that perhaps will help prospective readers determine if Post-Human is their cupof tea:
- Sexual activity is undescribed and takes place offstage. The romance between the main character and his girlfriend doesn’t go far until catastrophe kills his wife.
- There’s plenty of gore, but little physical cruelty or sadism. People explode from the action of nanobots inside them. There’s little left but a smear.
- In David Simpson’s version of the future, everyone is smart and good looking. I found this irritating; some may take offense.
- The book has a few typos and diverges from common standards in its use of abbreviations. The number of typos compares favorably with the expected number in a paperback original novel from a mainstream publisher.
Readers who like adventure stories and can easily suspend critical thinking skills will take pleasure reading Post-Human. Readers who demand more plausible technology and more vivid characters may be disappointed. You may want to download Post-Human for a lazy afternoon on the beach, but you won't want to assign it to your literature class.