Ghostified City

by bramcools

Original HIATUS Adventure Drama Sci-fi Cyberpunk Low Fantasy Post Apocalyptic Slice of Life Urban Fantasy
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

‘Ghostified City’ is a post-dystopian sci-fi tale, set in a fading world that might be a future version of ours, running out on outopilot into oblivion. Adaman Yimmand is a simple robofactory operator in The City who's working with robots and machines every day. He doesn’t even realise that he might not have met another actual human being in years. Everything begins when he breaks his routine for once and enters a bar where he meets Evelith. This pesky other person does not let him go after he has had his -rather terrible- beer, because according to her actual humans are much rarer than he’s aware of.

And from then on ‘the genie is out of the bottle and won’t get back in’, to use her words: Adaman meets more people, and gradually he has no choice but to accept that the reality of The City is not what he always thought it was, and to face the darkness of a fading humanity on the brink of self-inflicted extinction.

Is there any hope left for him, and for his species?

I have selected 'sexual content' and 'traumatising content' to be on the safe side, because there is a stripclub-like venue in the background of the story, and an almost-extinct humanity that has institutionalised suicide which might be disturbing to some. Apart from that it's not really a heavy 'adult' story.

('Ghostified City' is my first long story in English as opposed to my native language Dutch, and an earlier version was published on my fiction blog 'Oranderra' until I stopped updating. This is a slightly altered version of the first series.)

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bramcools

bramcools

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1.1 Grey City Streets ago
1.2 Nirvana Ecstasy ago
1.3 Fake Beer and Ancient Music ago
1.4 Meeting an Actual Human at last ago
1.5 Evelith ago
1.6 the Complications of dealing with Real People ago
1.7 Too much for my poor Robobrain ago
1.8 A Disposable Man ago
1.9 You'll stay here tonight! ago
1.10 Dream sequence #1 ago
Extra #1: Historical Notes on The City ago
Extra #2: Character descriptions (version 1.0) ago
2.1 The Morning After ago
2.2 A Real Man is hard to find! ago
2.3 Velia's Mint Tea from Actual Plants ago
2.4 Make money or Die Trying ago
2.5 Beer and Bread is what made Enkidu a Human ago
2.6 One more Boring Day of Useless Work ago
2.7 'My Glasses!' ago
2.8 What are the Plans exactly? ago
2.9 How do Humans say No again (to a mad mission)? ago
2.10 The Temple of Acosmia ago
2.11 The Artificial Monk ago
2.12 The Last Sacraments for a Temple of Death ago
2.13 Next-SystenZ ago
2.14 Anticonception and human extinction ago
2.15 dreams and other worlds ago
2.16 dream Sequence #2 ago
Extra #3: some notes on philosophy and religion in The City ago
3.1 Moving to Nirvana Ecstasy ago
3.2 Another Day in the Life in the Endtimes of your Species ago
3.3 The almost empty Squat ago
3.4 The story of the child ago
3.5 Vitlon means Life ago
3.6 Lonesome George's lonely hearts club band ago
3.7 A Supermarket well past Expiry Date ago
3.8 Everyday Killerbots on the Way Home ago
3.9 Ancient Emoji Pasta ago
3.10 More Real Beer at the One Night Stand Bar ago
3.11 Vezlena and Mr. asexual roboman ago
3.12 Blues for the Last Generation ago
3.13 Dream Sequence #3 part 1: the Council of Endlings ago
3.14 Dream Sequence #3 part 2: Sister Nature ago
4.1 Looking for Fundless Outlaws while having a Hangover ago
4.2 Eye to Eye with The Fundless Tribe ago
4.3 You live like Kings and we are hunted like Mammoths! ago

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The Demented Master
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Review written after Part 1-

The story is dark and haunting look into the life and psyche of a reclusive man living in a world of robots and his reintegration into the world of humans. The story is well written with a protagonist that is believable due to his long seclusion. 

There are elements of a Orwelian government, a possible resistence and a whole world that begs for exploration. If you like 1984, anything by Robert A. Heinlein, or an dense Sci-Fi set in a futuistic dystopia, I recommend this story.

Velara
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This is part of a series of reviews where I read the first 50 pages of the book and give a verdict on if I wish to continue reading. 

Ghostified City is an interesting fiction, that explores a world where humans, and humanity is fading away, replaced with an increasing robotic and fake world. The result is a compelling piece of dystopian literature, which the authors explores through the evolution of Adaman and his awakening to the steady loss of the spark of human ingenuity. Both the characters and plot are intriguing, and the dystopian setting is fascinating and well crafted. But, ultimately the story failed to hook me, because I found reading it to be exhausting. Primarily because I found the prose unenjoyable. With that said, if dystopian fiction is at all up your alley, you owe it to yourself to give it a try, with any luck you'll find the prose less off putting than I and will be able to settle in to enjoy an intriguing piece of speculative fiction.

Favourite Part

The best part is the setting. The concepts at play intermingle into an interesting admixture, exploring ideas of automation, voluntary ethunesia, religion, media control and what it means to be human. All those interesting juicy elements that make for excellent speculative fiction, layered on top of a tight spatial location in the City and the unique culture of the humans living there. Though I will admit to finding the dealing of some political issues a touch heavy handed. 

I'll also give an honourable mention to the characters, while I do have questions about how society and a person could fall apart over the course of a decade, to the point where people have largely stopped communicating altogether. But Adaman's character, as someone who had lost all of that is interesting, and the development towards re-discovering it is intriguing and doesn't feel rushed. The other characters he runs into are also a delightful contrast to him.

Least Favourite Part

The prose. I would describe it serviceable, it will take you from point A to point B, with it doesn't inspire emotion or interest. There is frequent repetition of similar phrases or elements to covey the same message. Sometimes I'll read a sentence and just wonder if it served any purpose at all. Unfortunately, the prose ends up serving as a filter for the excellent parts of the story weakening the impact, and distancing the reader from world.

There are also occasional grammatical errors and typos, as well as infrequent sentences with means that are difficult to parse. Although those have a much lesser impact on the story than the general blandness of a lot of the prose. 

Ultimately, I think Ghostified City is a copy editor away from being a truly excellent story. Without which, it is unfortunately just good.

3.5/5