Going Shogun: Comic Fiction Plus Dystopia Equals a Great Summer Read

Geek Culture

Going Shogun book coverGoing Shogun book coverErnie Lindsey’s book Going Shogun is by no means perfect. It tends to display both the best and the worst of what self publishing can accomplish. It needs a copy edit and displays many of the traits which will irritate those who appreciate the value of a traditional editorial team. So, if you are the kind of person who reads a book with a pencil in hand because you cannot help it, stop right here. This isn’t the book for you. However, for those of you willing to allow a writer a few imperfections of grammar and punctuation, then Going Shogun is a tight, snappy, comic joy ride through a near future dystopia.

Brick and Forklift are waiters stuck in a world in which social status and influence have turned into a hardened caste system, a world in which upward mobility only comes through filling out a three page application to The Board. Since birth, they have been indoctrinated to pursue a hopeless quest to climb up to higher levels of status through hard work and applying themselves (pun intended). Despairing of advancing through any honest means, they hatch a plan to steal their employers’ secret recipes and sell them on the internet. What follows is a hilarious romp through a comic and dangerous underground subculture of hackers, drug users, and wannabes. It is Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure meets a send up of ’90s rave and hacker cultures.

The story is also about becoming an individual in a society in which consumption and materialistic progress has become both creed and religion (at one point one of the characters starts quoting The Board’s Prayer). Lindsey is a smart social critic, at ease telling a story which brings to light the difficulty young people have coming of age in a land which no longer provides any upward mobility but still demands fidelity to the material consumption the young can no longer achieve. He also examines how an ongoing sense of powerlessness affects not only an individual’s view of the world around him but also his view of himself.

Not that any of this social commentary is on the surface in Going Shogun. No, the story is all candy coated comic goodness, which will keep you laughing out loud and reading at breakneck speed to keep up with the adventure. It’s just nice to know the chewy nugget center has some nutritional value as well. That makes it a perfect summer read. Going Shogun is now available in both electronic and paperback editions.

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