The Becomer

The Becomer


Fiction - Science Fiction
46 Pages
Reviewed on 06/25/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

In The Becomer by David Michael Miller, we meet X, of indeterminate sex. X is you, X is me, in fact, X is, or can be, everyone. In this science fiction fantasy world, Miller examines where today’s technology could be leading us. Forget gene manipulation; in The Becomer, X is able to absorb not just your genes, but your memories, your thoughts and your dreams. X can become you, just by giving you a hug. It’s more than that, though, as once X has absorbed the essence that is you, it stays with him/her/it forever. When he hugs the next person, that person’s essence transfers also to him until, ultimately, X will become everyone. The possibilities created by this new technology seem endless and, eventually, the individual will cease to exist.

This is a short story, but in just these few pages of The Becomer, Miller questions everything we’ve ever known about individuality and consciousness. We meet X as an infant and follow his life through until he becomes the multiplicity of personalities that he will end up having. The author cleverly changes his style through the narrative as we progress through X’s life from infant, to boy, to teenager and finally to man/woman or it. The language and sentence structure early on is simple, almost childlike and grows in complexity as X himself grows in complexity. A fascinating technique employed by the author. Miller effectively challenges everything we may think we know about identity, self-awareness, interconnection, and isolation. This is a stunning short story/novella that makes the reader really sit up, take notice, and ask questions about the perception of reality and life. Brilliant, if a little short.

Stephen Fisher

The Becomer by David Michael Miller is a brilliantly thought provoking science fiction novella about X. The story begins with his birth and then, stopping briefly at his unique, seventh birthday, progresses to his quirky high school years. Once he reached adulthood, X was on a mission to create a sense of oneness in the universe. Once he invented his nanobots, everything he needed for his dreams to come true began falling into place. From wanting to merge his soul with other human beings, to a girl wanting to experience the elation her boyfriend felt with her satisfaction. Imagine connecting with someone else on a whole another level just by hugging? The nanobots load from one host to the new host and "Tad-ah!" Two become one.

David Miller does a magnificent job of bringing the story to life with great characters and situations that are vividly described. The awareness of adjoined personalities, sharing thoughts and feelings as if they were their own. The Becomer is flawlessly written, fast paced, and just keeps pulling the reader in with every turn of the page. Before you know it, the story is over, and your mind is racing with endless possibilities. This story would be absolutely great if David had spent a little more time in introducing some of the characters with a little more background, and I feel that it would have been the icing on the cake. All in all, the theme of this masterpiece is still implanted in your memory. You are simply left wanting more! Bravo, Mr. Miller!

Ruffina Oserio

The Becomer by David Michael Miller is a literary gem that will delight aficionados of sci-fi with elements of genetic engineering, and lovers of fantasy. The story starts in an intriguing manner, with the description of the birth of a baby known simply as “X,” and then a definition that is even more intriguing: “At that time, X was only one person. Nowadays, X is both everyone and no one. X is definable by its indefinability. Consistent in its inconsistency. Constant in its becoming. Unique, just the same as anybody else. X is You. And Me. And Him. And Her. And Zir. And on, and on, and… Back then, The Mother didn’t have a clue.” This book depicts the journey of “X” as he explores the question of his identity, his possibility, and as he learns to accept who and what he really is. Follow him as he transcends the limits of his individuality to become a universal person.

This is a character-driven story and readers will be fascinated at the protagonist, a character who becomes no one and everyone on his journey. The Becomer is a story about self-exploration, self-transcendence, and the mind-blowing opportunities that are open to the human mind. In creating “X,” the author goes beyond what makes each one of us unique and delves into the possibilities of our becoming. The plot is not as complex as I would have imagined for a story of this beauty and magnitude, but then the originality in the concept and the plot complements every flaw one could find in the story. David Michael Miller writes well and the narrative voice is seductive and irresistible. Here is a story that will entertain readers and encourage them to go beyond the limits of possibility.

Faridah Nassozi

In The Becomer by David Michael Miller, from a very young age X struggled to fit in with his surroundings, his peers, and his entire being. As early as age seven, he longed to find meaning and purpose in his life. What followed was years of continued struggle to find his right place and footing through school and beyond. Then, one day, he had a profound experience that would go on to give him purpose and change his life forever. Follow X's journey and witness the transformation that he undergoes in his quest to become more so that he can achieve his goal of being all of it and none of it.

There is something so unique and philosophical about the narration style that it will draw you in completely. The style complements the depth and general essence of the story. From the very first page, I could tell that there was something phenomenal about X and that something life changing awaited him. It is simply amazing how David Michael Miller told a story of such profound depth on so few pages. The story brings to life a character that embodies opposite sides of every aspect of its being in equal measure, and yet all this is captured in such a simple, sincere and realistic way. The character development is simply incredible and captures X's evolution, both physical and emotional, in such a gripping way. The Becomer blends science, technology, social issues and other such aspects in a very intriguing way, and it is a thrill to read.

Jane Finch

The Becomer by David Michael Miller tells the story of a nameless person (or entity) referred to as ‘X’. After birth, X is first identified on his seventh birthday, when his choice of celebration causes his father concern. X is then followed through school and his quest for being different, yet the same. He discovers that he can be both, or neither, or either. X aspires to become like The Figure and physically transforms himself through a series of surgical procedures, but ultimately this is still not enough. Even the discovery of an organisation that has the potential to fulfil all his desires leaves him feeling unfulfilled and incomplete.

This is the type of story that can mean different things to different readers. It’s about having desires and aspirations that, even when fulfilled, leave one yearning for something more. In The Becomer, author David Michael Miller has crafted a story that expresses the concept that everything will never be enough. That the ability to be anyone, or anything, or everyone and everything, will never totally satisfy a yearning mind. The story is unusual, thought-provoking, and in a way, disturbing. It shows the frailty and weakness of man and exposes greed and narcissism as controlling factors in the constant striving of the human race to be different. For this reader, there was a continuing query as to who was the narrator, not in a negative way but in a thoughtful way. The writing is visual and this would make a good short movie. Some of the writing was rather deep and ponderous, but overall a compulsive read, although perhaps not to everyone’s taste.