Novella Review: Viral Spark by Martin McConnell

Viral SparkViral Spark by Martin McConnell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For decades now, humans have deepened the abilities of artificial intelligence, and yet wondered what would happen if the AI gained sentience. Possibly bad things [2001, The Matrix] and possibly not [Wall-E, Star Trek]. The question is, are we ready to release the reins and to let the AI make its own decisions? Another growing trend is mankind’s reliance on our tech, sentient or not. Google tells us where to go and how to get there. It’s almost inconceivable that just 20-odd years ago, the internet wasn’t a thing, GPS wasn’t directing our movements, and cell phones weren’t constant companions.

This near future sci-fi novella, shows a world reliant on tech. Robots accomplish much labor, pads and screens provide information, entertainment and education, and neural implants sync one to one’s schedule, cell phone, pad and the world in general. And then everything starts glitching . . .

Robert is a technological wunderkind, able to code robots to his liking and unravel whatever’s not working. He’s also just about out of school and ready to carve out a nice niche for himself with his talents smoothing the way. And then his robots start glitching, and he knocks them back in line. Then his pad glitches, and his home screen system. Robert notices what others haven’t–a pattern emerging . . .

The scope of this tale is purposely restrained, hopefully because sequels are in the works. Otherwise, there are some pretty large, unexplained social practices and realities only partially flushed out in this world. One can only hope that as Robert graduates and moves out into the world, that larger world of the future starts to coalesce on the page.

I received my copy of this novella directly from the author through




[Check out my other reviews here.]

One response to “Novella Review: Viral Spark by Martin McConnell

  1. Pingback: Novel Review: Viral Fire by Martin McConnell | Jaffalogue

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