Synopses & Reviews
Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It's not a tragedy. It's an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.
Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.
A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man's quest for ultimate self-improvement.
"RoboCop meets Nathanael West's A Cool Million in Barry's cautionary satire of the future of bio-augmentation. Dr. Charlie Neumann (get it?), an employee at the bioengineering company Better Future, loses his leg in an industrial accident and has it replaced with a prosthesis. After tinkering with and improving his artificial leg, Charlie loses his remaining good leg, but this time it's no accident; he likes being able to make artificial upgrades to his body. So do his employers, who see the military applications of Charlie's fixation and put him in charge of a project to modify the human body with mil-spec prostheses. When one of the other test subjects, a security guard who has had his arms replaced, goes rogue and kidnaps Lola Shanks, the prosthetics expert who has become the object of Charlie's affection, Charlie sets off to hunt down the monster he has helped to create. Like Mary Shelley's famous creation, this story and character are rather stitched together, and doesn't achieve a life or identity of its own. The result is a pastiche that, like Charlie, stays too wrapped up in its own head to grip the reader on a more emotional level. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Max Barry began removing parts at an early age. In 1999, he successfully excised a steady job at tech giant HP in order to upgrade to the more compatible alternative of manufacturing fiction. While producing three novels, he developed the online nation simulation game NationStates, as well as contributing to various open source software projects and developing religious views on operating systems. He did not leave the house much. For Machine Man, Max wrote a website to deliver pages of fiction to readers via email and RSS. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two daughters, and is 38 years old. He uses vi.