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Review: Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling

Freezing Rain, A Chance Of Falling presents us with a tech-heavy world not too distant from our own, where social media reigns supreme and a man will do anything in order to get back in the good graces of the public. The story burns bright from start to finish, leading down an ever descending path into madness.

FREEZING RAIN, A CHANCE OF FALLING

L.X. Beckett
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2018

QUICK SUMMARY

A disgraced reporter living in a social-media driven age seeks public redemption through an opportunity to expose a shady medical practice. He teams up with a wealthy benefactor. All seems to be going according to plan until he begins to lose portions of his memory. As he starts to weaken, he begins to wonder if he’s committed himself to a much scarier story.

WHY I LOVED IT

ENDLESS TECH

This is a world inundated by technological advances. Everything has been automated and computerized. People walk around with strange goggles that record that world and also have animated eyes (so strange to imagine). The main character has a virtual assistant constantly talking to him, and phone calls create holograms in midair. Even the most mundane things have the phrase ‘smart’ latched onto the front – smartchairs, smart drugs, even smart shovels. It’s all to adapt people to the digital world that runs everything, using social scores based on recordings from your life. Think The Circle meets Black Mirror.

A DESPERATE WORLD

It’s scary to read about a social media-obsessed world and realize we’re only steps away from it becoming a reality. It seemed like a fad years ago, the feeds and likes and the need to put yourself out there publicly for all to see. Now, it’s the norm. The story takes a step further, making it the currency by which you move throughout the world. If you get a low social score, you’re screwed. Ads are tacked onto every service, there’s no access to any databases or special events. You’re just a regular person, which is a social death sentence in this world. It’s necessary to understand this obsession with social recognition in order to see how a person could even consider the ordeals the main character faces. He risks his life, literally, at the prospect of regaining his social status. It’s haunting.

Spoiler

AN AMAZING VILLAIN

Gahhh this villain is amazing. An ancient grandma covered in tattoos and steampunk piercings, modded up the wazoo with extra nipples, eye enhancements, and a tongue coming out of her stomach (I’m pretty sure I read that right). She’s constantly wearing fluorescent pink along with her fake anime eyes batting their eyelashes endlessly. As she slowly becomes the villain and her plots are revealed, she becomes so shady and I can’t help but applaud the author on creating such a compelling villain. A billionaire artist who secretly destroys people’s lives makes for a fascinating tale.

HOW FAR WOULD ONE GO?

The greatest question asked is how far a person would go for redemption. Would you risk your life in order to regain the clout you once had in the world? Or entrust your life to a woman you barely know with a suspect past marred by controversy in order to get a drug that makes you smarter for a couple of days? Maybe lose all of your hair and start bleeding from the mouth so that people would send you digital currency in the form of likes? Let’s hope our world never gets to the point where these scenarios become reality.

CONCEPTS

Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Body Modification, Alternate Medicine, Art, Horror, Science Fiction

Interested in more stories like Freezing Rain, A Chance of Falling? Check out more reviews in our The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction section.

Photo by Jasper Oversteyns on Unsplash

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