Stefan Jackson's Glass Shore was published by Elsewhen Press as an e-book in September 2014. The paperback edition was published in December 2014.
Information about Stefan Jackson:
Stefan Jackson was born in North Carolina, but spent the latter part of his childhood in southern California. He moved to Brooklyn in 1994 looking for change. In his own words:
"I was raised by the calm eddies of the Trent and Neuse rivers. I followed the waters north, drawn to energetic confluence of the Hudson and East rivers of the Big Bright City. There I met my wife. We have a daughter. And a cat.
Here I write stories, play drums, coach pee-wee girl’s basketball, work the cubicle life, cook breakfast, ride the F line, laugh and rest my head in the land of jazz.
Cheers to the first fifty years. Hoping the next fifty are just as kind."
Information about Glass Shore:
What if ‘Think Differently’ was more than a campaign slogan?
What if it was part of a mind control network geared toward advanced sciences, creating a vibrant, creative and competitive workforce?
This is the world of Glass Shore, a dynamic existence featuring fierce vehicles, cruel weapons and serious body augmentation.
Manhattan, 2076. The fabled city of gold realised; a city of dazzling buildings and beautiful people; a city celebrated for converting an obsolete subway system into an adult playground. Manhattanite Nikki’s life changes forever when she finds the files labelled ‘Project Blue Book appendix 63-A’. The report contains a disc related to the Glass Shore, the horrendous nuclear event at Puget Sound in 2062. Disclosure of these files is not an option, so powerful people want Nikki dead. To protect her Nikki hires Apollo, her long-time friend and lover, who is magnificent at his job. He is also a clothes whore with an honest enthusiasm for life.
Nikki and Apollo are the hottest couple in Manhattan. Betrayed by friends at every turn, set upon by bounty hunters and other elements of security, law enforcement and civil protection, they utilise the best hotels, the sexy Underground and the glorious city of Manhattan as their shield.
“Government hit squads, illegal weaponry, hackers, cyborgs, twists, turns, sex, drugs, and a surprising lack of rock’n’roll – Glass Shore takes its readers on an express journey through the highs and lows of life in a dystopian future. Leaving you wondering at each turn what will come next, the story is superbly balanced between government conspiracies, criminals and corporations and how they inevitably intertwine.”
Click here to visit the author's website.
A REVIEW OF STEFAN JACKSON'S GLASS SHORE
Before I begin to analyze and review this novel, I'll present three questions to the readers:
1. Do you enjoy reading fast-paced stories?
2. Do you want your science fiction seasoned with action, sex and violence?
3. Are you interested in feisty and memorable characters?
If you answered "yes" to these three questions, you have just found a perfect and very entertaining novel to read. Stefan Jackson's Glass Shore contains all of these things in a surprisingly entertaining and addictive format.
Glass Shore is one of the most intriguing modern science fiction novels I've ever read to date, because it's something a bit different. Many bold and powerful visions of a dystopic future world have been written over the years, but this novel stands out among them due to its different contents (feisty characters, fast-paced action and an entertaining story).
For those readers who are wondering about the name of this novel, I can say that the name comes from the sandy beach that was turned to glass in 2064 when something weird happened. Many things were undone and sand melted and turned to smooth crystal shoreline.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
The events take place in Manhattan in the near future. The year is 2076. Manhattan has changed a lot and is full of impressive buildings and beautiful people. Nikki is a Manhattanite whose life changes radically when she finds files that have the stamp of United States Air Command upon them. These files contain information that puts her in danger, because they explain what created the Glass Shore and what happened at the time of its creation. Because Nikki and his protector, Apollo, know the truth about the happenings, they find themselves running for their lives. They try to evade the persons who want to capture and kill them...
The main characters, Nikki and Apollo, are interesting and different from the characters that you normally find in this kind of science fiction novels. There's quite a lot of feistiness and unpredictablity in them that I found refreshingly charming. It was nice that new things were revealed about them as the story began to unfold. There are surprisingly many layers to them and they're not what they seem to be, because they both have their own secrets.
Here's a bit of information about Nikki and Apollo:
- Nikki is a sexy woman. She likes to move and doesn't like being on hold. She loves dancing and life. She has interesting friends and connections.
- Apollo is Nikki's friend and her lover. Nikki hired him to protect her. He loves life, sex and clothes. (I can mention that an interesting revelation is revealed about him during the story, but I'm not going to reveal what this revelation is.)
The minor characters - Geek and Liz etc - are also interesting and some of them are truly fascinating personalities with their own characteristics and traits.
The future Manhattan works as a splendid background for the story and fast action. The author's descriptions of Manhattan are magnificent and he gives his readers an interesting glimpse into a futuristic world. He writes how things work in Manhattan and what it is like to live there in a fascinating way.
Stefan Jackson writes fluently and addictively about the dystopic future and what kind of changes have happened to mankind. In my opinion he is one of the best new authors when it comes to writing about what kind of a place the future world is, because his descriptions are fluent and interesting.
One of the most stunning changes that has happened in Manhattan is that the subway network was turned into an adult playground called The Underground (The Underground is exclusive to Manhattan). Prostitution was legalized and the sex trade turned out to be very lucrative.
Other intriguing changes include walls that can become three-dimensional with real images of the outside world. There are clothes that have fibers in them that mimic and mold to wardrobe programs, so getting dressed has become a bit different in the near future. There are also PODs (Peace Officer Drones) etc. Technology has advanced a lot and body modification has become easy. For example, skin grafts can be used to hide faces from cameras by making them look blurry.
There's plenty of sex in this novel. The sex scenes are surprisingly bold, uninhibited and well written scenes, because the author writes unflichingly about sexual acts and lust. The characters act almost out of instinct when they have sex and the author writes well about how they act in sexual situations.
The author uses quite a lot of thriller elements in the story and he does it well. In my opinion he combines such themes and issues as government conspiracy, illegal weaponry and hackers in a superb way, because he manages to keep the story interesting all the time and doesn't let the story become dull.
There's clever and enjoyable humour in this novel. For example, it was enjoyable to read about what kind of a weird cover story Apollo and Nikki invented when they went to visit Apollo's acquaintance. The dialogue between Nikki and Apollo is delightfully funny in this scene.
The Pii program was a brilliantly created program to make people happier and to prevent problems that would have otherwise risen and caused plenty of trouble. It was interesting for me to read about this kind of mind control, because the author approached this issue from a bit different angle.
One of the best things about this novel is that you don't know what's going to happen next. The author keeps the story flowing and delivers many interesting and unexpected twists and surprises along the way. Just when you think that you may know what's going to happen next, the author manages surprise you with a clever twist.
Glass Shore is almost like a fast-faced sci-fi thriller film in a book format. There were moments in this novel during which I was slightly reminded of The Fifth Element and other similar sci-fi films due to the fast-paced action and the slightly over-the-top story. This kind of fast-paced novels are good entertainment, because you can easily imagine what the story would look like on a big screen if it were to be filmed (I'd love to see this novel filmed, because in capable hands it would become quite an interesting film).
I think it's possible to say that this novel has a cool satirical edge to it. There are certain scenes and happenings that are simultaneously thrilling and amusing when you think about what's going on. The fast moving story has a delightfully over-the-top feel to it that I found very entertaining (I'm sure that other readers will also enjoy the story).
I'm not sure if this is a good comparison, but perhaps the only novels that come to my mind when I think about the contents of this novel are the sci-fi novels written by Richard Morgan. I have to emphasize that Glass Shore differs a lot from Morgan's novels, but there's something similar in it.
In my opinion Stefan Jackson is a promising new science fiction author. I look forward to reading more novels written by him, because this novel was good and exciting entertainment for adult readers.
Stefan Jackson offers his readers a good dose of action and plot twists. He keeps the story flowing all the time and adds more gears to the story as the story progresses. It's been a while since I've read this entertaining a novel, because this novel has all the ingredients - science fiction, cyborgs, sex scandals, mind control, fast-paced action, surprises etc - that are needed to please fans of entertaining sci-fi stories.
Glass Shore is a bold and fascinating vision of a future world where things have changed in many ways. It's a fascinating dystopian novel for all who are interested in dystopian fiction, fast-paced sci-fi stories and fascinating characters.
Good, fast-paced and exciting science fiction for adults!