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Overall book 1 out of 5
BDSM/kink 0 out of 5 paddles
The concept at the core of The Gate is an interesting one,solid.
In a future moon colony, where government monitoring and control has become the norm, Carly becomes obsessed with her virtual sex partner, the only person who offers her a release from her cramped and boring life. When she attempts to divine the identities of the people who contributed to the program, she learns that he may be based on a real person: Devlin Bear, her best friend’s brother. The real Devlin is dead, killed in a lab accident while working on a top-secret government project, but when Carly orders a cybernetic sex doll programmed with her virtual lover’s personality, she discovers that the doll really does think that he’s Devlin Bear. He may, in fact, be Devlin Bear. And now that he’s back, there are people who want what he knows.
There were things I liked about this book. Devlin and his sister Brenda are both Arapaho. There’s a really nice bit about how the Arapaho language, being a “dead” language despite still being spoken by, you know, actual living for-real Arapaho, was left out of the translation databases in a typically privileged and dismissive jerk move. The language is now being used to organize rebel efforts and circumvent the nearly-constant surveillance. I thought that was really cool.
The feeling of being watched was well-evoked, and we never for a moment forget that Carly’s world is one of intrusive and disturbing governmental voyeurism. I, like a lot of folks, have a fear of being watched constantly, of having my behavior monitored and judged,and having my suitability as part of society judged by what I do in private, so this hit home in a major way.