Mike French's Fictional Alignment was published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in February 2018 and in paperback in April 2018.
Information about Mike French:
Mike French was the owner and senior editor of the prestigious literary magazine, The View From Here during its life from 2007 to 2014. Mike’s debut novel, The Ascent of Isaac Steward, the first book of the Dandelion Trilogy, was published in 2011 and nominated for a Galaxy National Book Award which, presumably due to an unfortunate clerical error, was awarded to Dawn French. Elsewhen Press published the second book in the trilogy, the satirical Blue Friday, in 2012, and the third, Convergence, in 2013, along with a new edition of the first book.
Born in Cornwall in 1967, Mike spent his childhood flipping between England and Scotland with a few years in between in Singapore. Splitting his time between his own writing, editing the magazine, running author workshops and working with atp media in Luton, Mike is married with three children and a growing number of pets. He currently lives in Luton in the UK and when not working watches Formula 1, eats Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and listens to Noah and the Whale.
Information about Fictional Alignment:
The sequel to An Android Awakes.
It’s ten years after Android Writer PD121928 from An Android Awakes was fed into a sink grinder by its replacement PD121929.
The human prostitute Sapphira, believing PD121929 to be PD121928 for all that time, has tried and failed to save PD121929 from being destroyed for selling fewer than a hundred copies of its novel.
Sapphira herself has written the bestselling novel Humans (An Arrangement of Minor Defects) based on the stories PD121928 told her on the night they first met.
It has been marketed by Altostratus as the “first work of fiction by a human for over a hundred years”.
Unhappy, a handful of zealot androids massacre the senate and a new regime is formed fuelled with a passion to eradicate the evil of fiction from android society.
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A REVIEW OF MIKE FRENCH'S FICTIONAL ALIGNMENT
Mike French's Fictional Alignment is an excellent sequel to An Android Awakes, which was published in 2015. It's a fully satisfying sequel that showcases the author's creativity and depth of imagination. It wonderfully demonstrates the power of engagingly written fiction and bewitches readers with its surreal and twisted story.
Because I was deeply impressed by An Android Awakes, I'm glad to say that Fictional Alignment does not disappoint. It's everything that the first novel was and much more, because the author takes the story to a whole new level of amazement and originality. I was surprised by how compelling the story was and found myself being totally hooked by it. I didn't think it would be possible to surpass An Android Awakes in terms of originality and freshness, but the author has succeeded in it.
Fictional Alignment is an imaginative and incredibly fresh science fiction novel that is in equal measure entertaining, sexy and brilliantly satirical, not to mention surreal and shocking. I think it can be said that there's nothing quite like this novel out there on the market at this moment, because the story is highly imaginative and inventive.
I think it's good to mention that although Fictional Alignment can be read as a standalone novel, it's advisable to read An Android Awakes before reading this novel, because they're companion novels that compliment each other. It's possible to read and enjoy this novel without knowing anything about what happened in An Android Awakes, but there are moments when certain things can be understood better with knowledge about the previous happenings.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
Fictional Alignment tells of Sapphira, a human prostitute, whom readers were introduced to in An Android Awakes. Sapphira tried her best to save PD121929, but she failed to do so and now PD121929 is gone. Her book Humans (An Arrangement of Minor Defects) has become the world's bestselling book of all time. She has used and recycled PD121928's rejected stories as the basis of her book and feels guilty about it... Sapphira's father is brutally killed by the androids called Heisenberg and Tractatus who believe that a plague of fiction has been unleashed and is corrupting the factual fabric of Andromium. They kidnap Sapphira and take her to an android called the Proseologist who is responsible for reading books and removing texts that don't match the reality database... The androids try to brainwash Sapphira and are determined to erase her stories, because they offend their God of Fact. However, they notice that things are not so simple, because they have to change history and make fiction fact. Soon Sapphira finds herself being sent back in time against her will, because she has to help the androids to tranform her fiction into reality...
This marks the beginning of an imaginative and satirical science fiction story that is a real page-turner. The story flows captivatingly from start to finish and will impress many readers.
The author has constructed the story in an excellent way. The story has several elements that range from the humorous and the romantic all the way to the shocking and the twisted. To be honest, it's actually amazing how masterfully the author has spiced up his story with various elements, because all of the elements are well balanced and there are plenty of surprises.
Mike French's worldbuilding is stunningly good, because he has created a twisted vision of a future where androids rule the Earth. The androids and their faith in the facts are depicted well, because they don't tolerate fiction. Fact is considered to be good by the androids, but fiction is bad and is outlawed, because it brings chaos and transgression. According to the androids, fiction is filth. The androids have taken their despise of fiction so far that the world's greatest literary novels are being consistently destroyed and deleted due to them being fiction.
The time travel elements are intriguing, because the androids, Heisenberg and Tractatus, take Sapphira and others to re-enact moments from Sapphira's book so that they will be rendered factual. This mission is something to behold in its strangeness and scope, because readers get to witness fascinating and memorable moments and see how the androids control things (the epic scope of the story is simply amazing).
The interaction between Sapphira and the androids is marvellously entertaining. The author also writes entertainingly about the androids and their agendas, because their machinations are amazing and offer lots of entertainment and unexpectedness to readers.
This novel is a powerful exploration of what is acceptable, what is possible, what should exist and what must be changed forever. The author delves deep into analysing these things by means of speculative fiction and satire. Satire is a difficult form of art to perfect, but Mike French masters it perfectly, because he dares to examine things in his own original way that forces readers to use their brains.
Fictional Alignment is a novel that must be read from start to finish in order to fully understand what is going on and how things work. This novel is not to be read in haste, because it has been written in a way that benefits from careful reading. When you immerse yourself into this novel's world, you'll find out that it has quite a lot of depth and hidden wisdom beneath its quirky and surreal surface.
By the way, if you at any point feel a bit disoriented or confused while reading the story, please persist with it, because you'll be rewarded with a thrilling reading experience that is unlike anything else you've ever experienced before.
I like the Mike French's prose very much, because he writes fluent and vivid prose. He's a talented author who dares to put his skills into good use and delivers original stories. What surprised me was that there were a few moments in the story when the prose felt subtly delicate and wonderfully sophisticated, which is not often the case in this kind of fiction.
The illustrations by Mike French look good and fit the story well, and the cover art by Tony Allcock looks great. The cover art and the illustrations perfectly compliment the story.
Mike French's Fictional Alignment is a unique masterpiece of surreal and thought-provoking science fiction. It can be wholeheartedly recommended to speculative fiction readers who love imaginative and original stories, because it's charmingly different from other modern science fiction novels.
My final words are:
This novel is excellent, surreal and thought-provoking science fiction satire for adults. You'll be hard-pressed to find another science fiction novel that is as engaging, original and well written as this one, because it's a lush feast of creativity and imagination.