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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
Sequela by Cleland Smith is adult science fiction at its best. Sequela opens with the strangest and most interesting job interview I've ever read. From there, Cleland Smith introduces us to our protagonist, Kester Lowe. Kester is a scientist. He creates designer viruses and at the beginning of Sequela he is about to jump from working in academia to the vastly more profitable and competitive world of mega-corporations. A lot of what this novel is about is summed up in the title. Sequela refers to the long term effects of a disease or any lingering complication of a disease. Welcome to the wonderful world of the future.
I haven't enjoyed reading a new writer this much since I picked up a book called Neuromancer many many years ago. Cleland Smith has created a clear, crisp, clean, edgy, and fast vision of the future that is very, very plausible. This is the reason it may scare you. For most of my life, the human race has been justifiably terrified of nuclear weapons but Cleland Smith shows us a world where disaster arrives from a much smaller source. This vision of a brave new biological future is what makes Sequela sparkle. Cleland Smith may be the first writer in a new science fiction sub-genre similar to the cyber punk movement. She writes with authority about the pervasiveness of Biology in the money and power-hungry world of future corporate boardrooms. I liked Kester Lowe, but I liked the future vision of London and corporations even more.