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"Think. Laugh. Cry in 100 Pages" by William Baga

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Under: Book Reviews

William says in the preface to this little gem that he adheres to no particular format or type when he writes, and that is absolutely true of what follows.  Quirky, punchy and interesting, the three very short tales in this book are simply the author’s imagination poured onto the page.  That’s not to say that he isn’t a particularly professional author – he is, and a very good one, to boot – he just chooses not to form his work into the moulds of the usual expectations and conventions.  And, in my opinion, these otherwise not entirely remarkable tales are vastly better than they’ve a right to be, as a result.

The first is a standard story, the second and third very brief plays, all different in nature, and the latter two told primarily in the back-and-forth scripted dialogue format.  The main novella is an imaginative futuristic tale, told in the main from the narrative viewpoint of its primary antagonist, the spokes-piece for an all-powerful A.I. network, toward the end of the present century.  It tells a progressively bleak tale of the rise of the machines correlating with man’s growing corporate greed for wealth and power, and ultimately inevitable self-inflicted demise, with the computers and smart-devices jointly instrumental in its bringing about, as they wait in the wings.  By no means a story never told, it was perhaps a little disheartening to see the way it was going; I read a lot of future-based sci-fi, and it would be a nice change not to see the usual account of mankind’s apocalyptic demise around every corner – but, at least in this version we don’t take half the planet with us… and, perhaps more ominously and with devastating acceptance, it is ultimately a sadly likely outcome.  Nevertheless, while not as downbeat as I may have made it sound, it was nice respite that this tale was followed immediately by a romantic and pleasantly touching, poignant play about true love.

William writes superbly, and he deftly crafts an extremely intelligent academic mind with insight and knowledge, as well as an infusion of humorous nostalgia and, at the last, a very dark, bittersweet mind.  I enjoyed reading Think, Laugh, Cry…; it passed a (albeit very short) slice of time so enjoyably so that I found myself wishing he had included more of his work.  If you like short stories, witty screenplays and cerebral, intelligent sci-fi (think Hal-9000 or perhaps Cloud Atlas), there will be a little something in this book for you to snack on in your lunch break.

In : Book Reviews 


Tags: william-baga  futuristic  sci-fi  apocalyptic  dystopian  fiction  short-stories  novella  screenplay  comedy  romantic   
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Qualifications:  
Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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