Congratulations to my friend and valued client Richie Etwaru on the publication of his new dystopian thriller, “Sylvia Brand,” which I had the privilege to edit. The central character of this eponymous novel is a middle manager at Sun Motors in Detroit, some years in the future. Her life is very ordinary, except for her boss, Randolph Meekin, who is a lascivious jerk. But one Monday morning, Meekin is abruptly replaced by a unisex robot named Carin. As Carin proves to be a fair and businesslike boss, the women in the office rejoice.
As the days pass, Sun Motors institutes a series of new efficiency programs, each requiring the employees–including Sylvia–to sign consent forms. With some misgivings–the program seems heavy-handed but logical–Sylvia complies.
One morning, her life changes. Carin meets her at the front gate and tells her she’s being sent on a special assignment. She’s whisked to the company jet and flown to an unknown destination.
From this moment on, her existence takes an ugly turn. To save her life, Sylvia agrees to go along with what her handlers tell her. But eventually she realizes she has no future, and by saying “yes” too many times, she’s become trapped.
This powerful story serves as a wake-up call to alert readers to the creeping danger of the misuse of human data. Health data is a valuable commodity, and Sylvia’s story, while highly dramatized, is closer to reality than we might think.
Thomas Hauck is a professional ghostwriter, editor, and book developer serving both published and emerging authors.