Cry Pilot features multifaceted worldbuilding in a future where corporations run things side-by-side with the military. The enemies are stronger and the stakes are higher as the world mends from human ineptitude.
The book manages to combine military, high-tech, and dystopian science fiction in one compelling narrative, featuring well-drawn characters and central protagonist you want to root for.
To start, I’m fascinated by the central enemies in this strange future Earth, the remorts. Imagine a future where we actually get it together enough as a planet to do something about climate change. Imagine that thing is to put everyone into these enormous, tall building cities and terraform the cleared Earth. Imagine the planet becomes this beautiful paradise outside of these sprawling cities, giving way to any number of formerly extinct species. Pretty cool, right?
The real epicness lies in the malfunction of this terraforming tool. It wouldn’t be a fancy futuristic technology if there wasn’t something wrong with it. In this instance, mankind was obsessed with war and making terrifying advances in warfare. Imagine that. When things really started to go south, these machines were abandoned throughout the world, eventually decaying. Amazingly, this terraforming process found a way to create these monsters that are part machine, part animal by combining various DNA with the technical elements left in the Earth. It’s like something straight out of Godzilla, but more believable. The concept is staggering and makes for an exhilarating read. In fixing the world, humanity managed to create their greatest enemies. Poetic, isn’t it?
I was equally impressed by the extensive worldbuilding that continues throughout the novel. There’s a history of artificial intelligence alongside mankind, birthing all of this technology that gave us the ability to move beyond our planet. There’s the class struggle that would inevitably come from a super cramped mega-city. We also see this juxtaposition of a military society and a corporate society melded into an unhealthy concoction. Overall, the elements work together well to create a compelling story.
Written by Joel Dane
Published by Ace
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.