|Print List Price:||$14.99|
Save $12.00 (80%)
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Fluence Kindle Edition
Imagine a world where your influence on social media determines your job, your home and your friends. A world without politicians, where the corporations run the country.
Set in a dystopian London, Fluence is a story of aspiration and desperation and of power seen and unseen. Amber is young and ambitious. Martin is burnt out by years of struggling. She cheats to get what she wants while he barely clings on to what he has.
It's the week before the annual Pay Day when strata positions are decided by the algorithms. The social media feed is frenetic with people trying to boost their influence rating, while those above the strata and those who've opted out pursue their own manipulative goals.
To what extremes, and at what cost to their families, will Amber and Martin go to achieve the Fluence they desire?
About the Author
"A frightening insight into a not-so-impossible future. This suspenseful, emotionally rich page-turner shows the dark side of the advanced technology and social networks; the twisted morals of a society driven by superficial social status and manipulated by the elite. The imperfect, realistic characters’ lives brilliantly show the possible consequences of one’s choices." The International Review of Books
"Oram offers a glimpse into a Dystopian London where social media use moves from mild addiction to a visceral quest for survival, where commodification of experience and shallow responses sound warning bells for our species' continuance. Current debate about benefits and who's entitled to support reach bitter depths . Fluence's mix of characters tumble today's class system and focus on appearance into a rat race where empathy is rare and no-one knows who is friend or foe, even within their own family. A fast-paced and eerily visual read." – Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand
"Almost every review I have read of this book compares it to 1984 and/or Black Mirror, presumably because they are the most well known and loved of dystopian future fiction. But for me this needs no comparison: the story is original and great of its own right." – Orchid's Lantern
"Extraordinarily gifted, detailed and believable. The author has created a vivid and frightening vision and the believable world just around the corner is an outstanding feature of this novel. The world of Fluence may soon be upon us and we must act to stop a pulsating piece of fiction becoming our terrible reality." – Paul Simon, Morning Star--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00ZYDU69I
- Publisher : SilverWood Books (June 26, 2015)
- Publication date : June 26, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 4232 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 332 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,065,177 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It’s a book that examines human motivation and looks at a world in which social media influence determines societal position. And holy does it hit close to home on that mark because I’ll be the first to admit that I’m constantly checking my accounts to see how my hits/likes I’ve gotten on my posts (I’m mean, I’m not addicted to social media, you are!). Anyway, this character-driven book, propelled forward by a cornucopia of morally grey characters with a tangled web of motivation, was an interesting foray into the ways in which people will try to survive when things are amiss. Whether by playing by the system, or choosing to opt out, it forces the question of how a person might act when social media rules the world.
While there were a few parts that dragged a little and could have been cut, they were sandwiched by tantalizing scenes that hinted at the eventual conclusion and greater picture. These little hints kept me reading and wanting to know what was going on. I would have liked to see more about this world and have it examined more in depth, but the way it was presented did work well with the character-driven nature of the plot, especially given how little the characters themselves knew about the world. My one complaint is that I enjoyed Max as a character, and while we do get to experience the story a little from his point of view, I would have liked to see more of him.
This is one book where I finished and went, I hope there’s a sequel because I think it’s been set up just perfectly for that (and I would 110% read the sequel).
I recommend this book to anyone who likes near-future dystopian books, enjoys character-driven science fiction, and wants to side-eye their social media for a while.
When you live in a world where everything you do or say has a tremendous influence on your place in society, you can go two ways. Play along or get out. Amber is playing along, her colleague Martin wants out. We follow them both during the last week before the one day in the year it is decided what happens to people - go up or down in society. What happens can have great impact; you can lose your house or get a much bigger one, you can lose your job or get a better one.
Fluence is a rather complicated book with multiple storylines and sometimes a bit too much detail. In the middle of the book there is a long part where Amber goes partying; although this 'party' is very important for her, for me, as reader, it was a bit tedious to read.
The author has a unique style and the story itself is a solid one, with interesting characters.
This was quite a gripping, intriguing and also worrying dystopian story. Set in a not so future London, where the government has failed and corporations have taken over, it deals with a lot of themes that seem potentially “silly” at first, yet quickly make you wonder more and more about whether this is possible or not… whether we might be close to that already, or not.
Society in “Fluence” is divided into stratae: at the top, the Reds, kind of a nobility that takes care of its own; at the bottom, the violets, and even lower the whites (people who’ve opted out of the system for various reasons: disability, being overstressed because of the system, and so on). Both main characters, Amber and Martin, work for a branch meant to deal with requests by various people to become “white”, and the approach taken here is rather chilling, casting a crude light on various questions—money and budget cuts remain, unsurprisingly, weighing factors.
Originally a Violet, Amber managed to climb her way to Yellow a first time, but had to drop back to Green after her first (Orange) husband died. Obsessed by the idea of going back to yellow status, she spends her day acting a role, going out to parties and events she chooses depending on how many “points” they’ll earn her, and updating her personal feed so that people will vote for her—basically Facebook-like social networking pushed to the extreme, and let’s be honest: isn’t that a bit the case already for us today? Couldn’t we easily veer towards a similar system at some point?
Meanwhile, Martin is her polar opposite: older, tired of struggling to keep his place at Green level, but feeling forced to it because he wants his family to be happy. His own issues include his growing difficulty to perform well in his job, understanding the points/Fluence game, and his son, not legally adult yet, who’s living on the fringe of society and doing shady deals with shady people.
While a bit rough in places, this story was highly entertaining, with more than just one twist that at some point seriously makes you start questioning what you’re reading: who’s manipulating who, who’s betraying who, who’s threatening this or that character, who’s a real friend or only acting the part to earh yet more points… All this is both somewhat grotesque (the bulimia shows, the obscene parties…) and frighteningly believable (our obsession with ranking, performing well, being under constant scrutiny…). And even though the plot could’ve been a bit tighter and better defined, in the end it didn’t matter that much to me, as I still enjoyed the various scenes and situations the characters went through.
3.5 to 4 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
While the demands of a world governed by online point-scoring wear away at the humanity and morals of the characters, there are also some developments thrown in that don't seem half bad e.g. trains that are programmed to run only when they're at optimum capacity. I think the author must have had a lot of fun along the way in developing his ideas, although overall it's a chilling story, reminding us how easy it would be for us as a society to lose our moral compass, aided by technological developments.
A very enjoyable read, and a very visual one, with lots of details about clothing, food and drink, and some fun, playful touches e.g. a couple feeling very daring for making cakes from raw ingredients, which has become an exciting adventure in such an automated world. The storytelling is very cinematic at points, and it would make a great film.
This is the second novel I've read by Stephen Oram, and I'll definitely be looking forward to reading more by this author.
Amber and Martin work at the same place – the Bureaucracy – as part of a disability assessment team. Their job is to determine whether people are fit to work, or if they need to be supported by the government. There are Fluence points to be gained for good job performance, keeping those disability figures down – so there’s a conflict of conscience straight away. Gain points by reducing the numbers on government support, or make an honest assessment to assist those less fortunate.
Amber is both knowledgeable of how the system works and very focussed. She plays to win, her only goal to increase her colour level and social status within society. Martin, however, is tired of the game, happy to stay in Green but concerned his score is currently in freefall. He is struggling.
The story, although central to these two characters who are at different ends of their game, also shows the bigger picture. Here we have a world where people are pitched against each other.. One man’s rise means another man’s downfall. At the end of the day if being a winner is to the detriment of someone else – can your conscience live with this? Or has the system conditioned you not to care?
I would like to thank the author for providing
And the ending .... urgh so un satisfying.... wish I hadn’t bothered