The serial novel, favoured by Dickens, and more recently spearheaded in digital form by Salman Rushdie, is a concept challenging the norms of traditional publishing, opening up the literature industry for both authors and readers. Bypassing the big publishing houses and using subscription-based blogging platforms like Substack allows authors to develop a closer relationship with their readership, creating a new dynamic for readers in a time-poor society.
Acuity is a high-concept speculative fiction novel, following the journey of gay protagonist Hannah Silverwood, a young hacker, as she endeavours to find herself and love in a world she does not fit. As Hannah grapples with epilepsy and grief from her mother's death, the story examines her relationship with her family and Leon, an emotional AI machine who solves society's problems. Leon is deeply concerned with our relationship with nature, while Hannah wonders if the threshold for humanity has already been crossed.
Exploring themes of climate change, LGBT issues, mental health, and the power of big tech, the novel aims to give a voice to traditionally marginalised characters, and scrutinizes humanity's complicated relationship with tech and nature.
Casper Maddox is a speculative fiction writer from Sussex, England. Acuity is Maddox's debut novel and his second is currently underway, entitled Kismet. Casper holds a BA in communications and an MA in drama-therapy,
"And now Hannah's mind romped with thought. 'If we cut ourselves off with technology, do we stop experiencing the humaneness we feel in music? As people text, like and update behind screens, is the oxygen draining away?' Her heartbeat raced in tune with the drums. Her sermon of the mind raced, thinking about depersonalised relationships and best friends a screen and happiness a like count. People having less sex. Children getting fat watching dancing cat videos, choosing to stay in, not play; conversation an emoji. She let her tears flow thinking of them as rain drops which hold the answer to the riddle of life."
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