Indie author Jeremy Thompson has released his second novel, Let’s Destroy Investutech (Bedlam Press, 2016). It combines the genres of horror and science fiction (especially cyberpunk), but it doesn’t confine itself within their well-worn tropes and clichés. In a way, Thompson has reimagined Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) as a futuristic, techno-capitalist nightmare. It’s the reductio ad absurdum of the Google-centric world in which we now live.
In the not-so-distant future, a multi-planetary, high-tech conglomerate controls humanity. It’s headquartered in the United States (of course); its name is Investutech. The company’s applied research and product development methods would petrify even the maddest of madmen. To Investutech, no scientific atrocity is too horrific in the pursuit of ultimate profit. In fact, sin is an inapplicable concept.
Only the Flux Facers, a group of face-shifting techno-patriots, oppose this biggest of businesses. Utilizing every means at their disposal — including body hijacking — they embark on a mission to overthrow Investutech. This quest takes them from Earth all the way to the afterlife.
Investutech is not the only (or even the worst) threat to the world. The technological future’s version of Dr. Frankenstein is Amadeus Wilson. Also known as the Toyman, he’s responsible for many of the innovations on which normal humans have come to rely. He has used his inventions to turn himself into a superhuman being. He also conducts hideous body modification experiments on others, including the members of his family.
The Flux Facers make a deal with this devil in their war on Investutech. After they hijack the body of the story’s hero, who’s been pursuing the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Sanvi (with the help of a Be-You virtuapresence coach), they set off of a chain of events that puts them on a collision course with both Amadeus and Investutech. The future of humanity hangs in the balance.
Thompson connects the world of this story with those of his first novel, The Phantom Cabinet (2014; see my review), and his recent short story, “Sacrificial Version” (collected in Onyx Neon Shorts Presents: Horror Collection – 2015; see my review). From the former comes Thompson’s fictional explanation of the afterlife. The latter provides one of the minor evil characters, Professor Pandora, whose function is to introduce the even-more-diabolical Amadeus. Fans of Thompson’s published works will notice his deft weaving of the three stories, which leaves no seams.
Thompson has developed an enjoyable prose style and voice. He wrote Let’s Destroy Investutech in a way that will remind readers of H. P. Lovecraft mixed with dashes of Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Stephen King. There are also touches of the surrealistic (especially in the novel’s imagery) in the style of David Lynch.
Speaking of Lynch, it did not escape my notice that this story would make a fascinating movie. The necessary sets and special effects (including CGI) would put it in the Hollywood budget range, out of the reach of all but the most resourceful indie filmmakers.
This new novel from Jeremy Thompson is a terrifying vision of a high-tech, globalized, post-capitalistic world. It’s laced with a dose of wry, dark humor in both its style and substance. It’s a complicated story that leaves no loose ends at its conclusion. Let’s Destroy Investutech is a must-read for all aficionados of horror and science fiction.
About the Author
Jeremy Thompson published his first novel, The Phantom Cabinet, in 2014 via Necro Publications. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Into The Darkness, Under The Bed, DarkFuse, Sanitarium, and Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction. A San Diego State University graduate, Jeremy resides in Oceanside, California. More information about him and his works is online at the Goodreads and Amazon.com websites.
Disclosure: Loud Green Bird provided this solicited “fair and honest” review to author Jeremy Thompson in exchange for a review copy of the Smashwords edition of Let’s Destroy Investutech.