Tokyo Green

A Novel

Fiction - Science Fiction
296 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite

In a near future world where unemployment runs at more than 30%, Tomohiro Cyphers considers himself fortunate to work for AWM, a California-based tech giant. His specialty is Artificial Intelligence and his current project is to design new and improved emotional programming for the company’s care-bots - new programming to improve the robots’ empathy and create a closer bond with the humans in their care. But things are not going well and to add to his woes his parents, who live in Japan, are killed in a tsunami. Tokyo Green by C.D. Wight describes when, having gained reluctant approval from his employer for two weeks leave, Tomohiro flies out to Tokyo, staying with his grandmother, to take care of his deceased parents’ affairs. It is while he is at her apartment, a small condominium block occupied by elderly residents and serviced by robot care assistants, that his life begins to change.

Finding new meaning in helping to repair and upgrade the building’s infrastructure and improve the lives of the residents, the insistent, aggressive demands from his employer, even though he is on bereavement leave, become an increasing annoyance. But there are local issues to contend with too. The megalithic organization which provides care facilities for Japan’s burgeoning elderly population has a plan to deal with what has become the nation’s most pressing problem - a plan so audacious as to be barely credible. Slowly, Tomo becomes embroiled in the corporate machinations, using his tech skills to try to push a highly conservative country in a new direction. Can he possibly prevail against the corporate might and national inertia ranged against him?

Tokyo Green by C. D. Wight is a refreshing work of science fiction which takes a sidelong look at how the technology we are developing at breakneck speed today will affect our world in the middle of the current century. The effect of robotics and AI on employment is handled with keen insight as is the behavior of those corporations responsible for the proliferation of the technology. Ultimately though, the story is about how the individual is affected by conditions in this brave new world. The action takes place mostly in Japan and I was delighted to see both the country and Japanese characters so well drawn. It is obvious that the author is a resident of that proud nation. The author also displays an impressive depth of technical knowledge which helps add a degree of realism to the tale. The narrative moves at a brisk pace and if the plot meanders a bit from time to time, the characters and their situations are interesting enough to keep one engaged. Tokyo Green is an accomplished novel which I am sure will find broad appeal and I do not hesitate to recommend it.