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Reviewed by Donnie Burgess for Readers' Favorite
Big Data is Watching You! is a satirical look into our own future through the eyes of one man, Smith, who isn’t aware that there is a future – or a past for that matter. Living under the watchful eye of the Goozle servers, Smith doesn’t have a data unit package high enough to worry about anything more than his job (throwing Celebrities to the lions) and his guppies. That all changes when he meets a Yahoo named Julia. She speaks of things like freedom and privacy as if there is more to them that what is defined by the Terms of Service. When Smith begins to question whether she may be right, he starts doing a bit of research. Customer Service notices. Smith finds out just how right she was when Big Data begins pursuing him for a litany of charges, chief among them: questioning the meaning of ‘the pursuit of happiness’.
Big Data is Watching You! paints a dystopian future that is almost too fantastic to be believed, but too believable to be pure fantasy. I particularly enjoyed Bruce Hartman’s ironic wit and irreverent tone as he lambasted our culture’s reliance on computers, the internet, and cloud storage by following their evolution to an (hopefully) unreasonable end. From ‘The Great Stench’ to ‘The Next Big Thing’, Hartman playfully intertwined improbable scenarios with events that seem almost a certainty, leaving me to wonder where the impossible ended and the inevitable began. The story was well crafted and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bit of light-hearted fun. Big Data is Watching You! will make me think twice before performing my next Goozle search!