The latest sci-fi novel to come from author Michael Poeltl envisions a Utopian world of 2162 which suffers a dystopic turn when the artificially intelligent robot Hosts claim sentience. Is Tobias the root cause? A human with tech implants covering sixty percent of his body makes him a suspect in a world where such modifications are unpopular and even illegal.
Do such alterations then make Tobias a poster-boy for the Cyberpunk genre? The phrase is not mentioned in A.I. Insurrection, but all the signs are there. Advanced technology plus dystopian elements equals cyberpunk, and A.I. Insurrection has all of that and a war which erupts; displacing the fragile balance of utopia.
Tobias is a disgruntled young adult in his mid-twenties, and after a devastating life event, he falls from grace with the Utopian government, plotting to disrupt its perfect façade. Within the Shadow net he finds the means to do so, and in the underground, enlists others to follow him on his personal vendetta. Creating an entirely new race through tech integration and brand awareness, Tobias secretly rallies the youth of the world into action against the oppressive Utopian government.
The more I reflect on Tobias – the man – his actions and the darkness within, the more I see how closely he would identify with the term: Cyberpunk.
So, does that make the book a cyberpunk book? I think it could easily call itself that. A near future cyberpunk tale. Yes. Absolutely. So, for those looking for a new Cyberpunk read – A.I. Insurrection should push all of your buttons and give you the return on a novel you deserve.