Spotlight on Autonomy by Jude Houghton

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Title: Autonomy
Author: Jude Houghton
Publisher: Kristell Ink/Grimbold Books
Release Date: July 29, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Dystopian, New Adult

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Synopsis

Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling
devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco
Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to
navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the
self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement
of Steel Ball. They are two strangers, who never
should have met, and now they will rip apart the world.

What happens when ninety percent of the world lives
on skaatch – a jellyfish and insect composite?

What happens when mankind spends more time in
alternative life sims instead of in the “real” world?

What happens when economic interest is the sole
determinant of global decision making?

What happens when a single secret is discovered that
calls into question everything we have ever believed?

Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.

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An Excerpt from Autonomy

“This evening I would like to introduce three innovations to prepare for what could be a decade-long conflict. First, the reassignment of Earth to Securicom from Media with the necessary funds to complete its expansion to cover every public building and street. It will take some years, but we have to begin now. A world under Earth’s responsible gaze is a safer, more efficient world.”

“But . . .” Havergill said.

autonomy“Second,” Maglan said, pressing on, “the full integration of Voice into iNet. The intellisphere’s very openness has made it impossible to control. Voice has the capability to change that, with real time analysis and monitoring of every single communication that passes through the network. Any off grid electronic network will be made illegal. We should remember that since the turn of the century, every successful uprising has had its origin in coordinated, social communication across unregulated networks. That possibility needs to be eradicated if the Autonomy is to survive long term.”

“We can’t do that,” Ventna said. “No communication would ever truly be private again.”

“Third,” Maglan said, “the immediate launch of a new division of Securicom, outside of the oversight of the Board that operates covertly to counter-act the activities of the Dish.”

The voting panel was again produced. Dagmar knew that what his brother was suggesting would change the world forever.

“Mankind is capable of incredible things,” Maglan said, taking in each President with his uneven stare. “Are you going to take that away by being squeamish now? Twenty years ago the Autonomy saved an over-populated, sun-scorched planet through the principles of supply and demand. Tonight an organization stands against us that wishes to tear down everything we have built and destroy the future of mankind along with it. These measures might seem excessive. They are not. They simply deal with the realities of the world in which we now live.”

Each member of the Board stared at the panel in front of them. Trieme and the two other appointees from Securicom voted first. Havergill placed his vote. In slow succession, Ventna, Flamel, Benteke and Rawstorm followed him.

Dagmar stared at the panel. What he was about to do was wrong, he knew that as clearly as he had ever known anything. Then he thought of Namgola, not of the ten million lives, but of his brush with destitution, of his children, of the expensive education they would need to get on in this harsh world, of their apartment in Mansion and the huge monthly payments that were owed on it still, of his wife and her habits and of the fact that his brother had saved all of it by forcing the Board to accept him as a President.

He placed his vote.

The initiatives passed without a single dissenting voice.

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About the Author

jude-houghtonJude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.

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