Editorial Review: Tiny Planet Filled With Liars by Stephen M.A.
A nosy journalist type buys the rights to a military disaster in order to find out what actually happened up there, but in this reality - whistle-blowers aren’t too popular.
This is a reality where corporations have more rights than people, money is everything, and the military holds an uncomfortable level of power. Every month, a force surrounds the planet and lays siege to it, however, if they can achieve a 0.1% casualty rating the Fleet Eternal will automatically retreat and reset. However, one incursion causes far higher losses than is acceptable and one curious person has managed to secure the authorisation to investigate and publish what happened.
Even with the legal right to investigate the process isn’t easy. The Interviewer must compel the interviewees to talk, but they are scared and often disinclined to share what they know for a myriad of their own reasons. There are also those who would like to end the investigation even if that means murder. Teaming up with Madam Zhou might be the only way for The Interviewer to stay alive and finish the investigation. With helpfully assigned security and an increasing network of contacts, The Interviewer pursues the truth – that is to say the facts – of the incursions and what exactly is going on with the board.
Presented to the reader in the form of a report, complete with interview transcripts, Tiny Planet Filled With Liars may at first appear difficult to start reading. With a somewhat non-traditional point of view and some distinctly non-traditional characters, Stephen M. A. has created an interesting and absorbing read. Thanks to the witty prose and disconcerting humor, a reader could easily miss the deeper themes of Tiny Planet Filled With Liars and assume it is merely an amusing adventure sci-fi thriller. In fact, Tiny Planet Filled With Liars blends satire and dirty jokes into a genuine philosophical debate.
Supporting the well-formed plot is the perfect intersection of phenomenal world-building and character creation. Thinking about this book within the premise of a report published by The Interviewer, readers of this book gain a visceral understanding of the world that is described therein. This transfer of information is done skilfully and without belaboring the point. To top it off, the characters, who at first seem rigid and unmoving, prove to be surreptitiously developing into favorites that readers will end up rooting for in the end.
Sci-fi fans will find something to enjoy here as will all those who enjoy sharp humor with a side of social commentary.
Political and social satire masquerading as a sci-fi thriller, Tiny Planet Filled With Liars turns an uncomfortably sharp yet entertaining philosophical spotlight on society.