The Beam: Season One by Sean Platt

The Beam: Season One

bySean Platt, Johnny B. Truant

Kobo ebook | July 17, 2013

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When all of humanity is connected, the network's hub is the true seat of power.

In the year 2097, the only stable nation is the NAU: a dystopia exploding with new technologies and ruled by two political parties. The choices are Enterprise (sink-or-swim ; effort and luck determine whether members prosper or starve) or Directorate, where members are guaranteed safety but can never rise above their station.

Above it all is The Beam: an AI-built computer network that serves every whim and connects citizens through implants and biological add-ons. The Beam anticipates every need and has created a world within the world. It permeates everything. It is everywhere.

But now the NAU's power is shifting. The Beam seems to be taking on a life of its own as immersion becomes as real as reality itself. New powers are making their moves while others hang in the balance ... and behind it all, a shadowy group is pulling strings. But if the NAU's true power goes unchecked, the actions of a shadowy few will shape the fate of millions for years to come ...

Title:The Beam: Season OneFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 17, 2013Publisher:Sterling & StoneLanguage:English

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A pleasure to read. As I read further into this book I became more and more engrossed. Be definitely investing in buying the second season.
Date published: 2015-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Introduction to a New World I definitely recommend this book if you are into character studies through the eyes of potential future worlds. Reminds me a bit of Isaac Asimov, but not as dry. My notes as I went along (potential spoilers): Episode 1: Great start to a new series. The concept for the world draws you right in, the political landscape seems scarily possible (republicans and democrats taken to extremes in enterprise and directorate) and an interesting cast of characters I could see myself caring about once we've had a chance to spend more time with them. I hope that Crumb, especially, plays a big role later in the series; his zaniness is pulled off perfectly and definitely makes you want to know what sort of history he has and whether he'll be able to affect the future in the story. --- Episode 2: I loved the flashback that lets us know a bit about Nicolai's past. It does a really good job of fleshing him out as a character that wasn't really done yet in episode 1. You worry about whether he'll make it or not despite the knowledge that he's alive in the "present day" of the future and obviously survives. I was less impressed with his later (spoiler-free) situation with 2 other characters and just hope that in future episodes the reason the three are together is revealed and helps move the story along. -- Episode 3: This episodes flashback at the start does a good job of helping understand the relationships between some of the characters but wasn't as exciting as the one in episode 2. The incarceration of 3 of the characters in a previous episode now makes a lot more sense and adds to the intrigue about what's really going on. Definitely makes you wonder what's going to happen when they're done and whether any of the characters will ultimately get away to survive. Also...not enough Crumb! :) -- Episode 4: We're starting to learn more about Crumb, and that's a good thing. -- Episodes 5 & 6: Good resolution to a lot of the open loops created in earlier episodes, I loved the back story with Stephen York and Noah West, it really helped flesh out how this world came to be. The final "reveal" at the end of the 6th episode was very cool in terms of setting up the next season but wasn't something so earth-shattering that I felt a need to demand the new season right away. I'll be happy seeing what other people do with this world that's been created. The after notes are also well worth reading; I'm glad that the conventions and gimmicks from the original version were abandoned because while I've seen works that (for example) employ no capital letters (and even published a series like that) it is *really* difficult to pull off and I probably wouldn't have gotten past the first episode. It's cool to see how the world came about and changed and what was happening behind the scenes just to get this series written.
Date published: 2015-09-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not just Sci-Fi This series is definitely grounded in the traditional technology Sci-Fi universe however, it's hung on a frame of the dystopian society. This makes for a really interesting story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters a fairly well but not completely fleshed out and given the serial style of book the authors are writing I'm okay with this as I expect more to be reveled in each season. The plots twists don't seem contrived just advance story along - everything even the insignificant has a purpose. Even if you're not a fan of Sci-Fi, give this series a read!
Date published: 2015-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One word: excellent I'm a Beam fan, and I didn't think I would be. The story was well-developed and complex, and full of great twists. I loved the worldbuilding and the character work. I listened to the audiobook version, and it is the best audiobook I've heard this year. This is also the first audiobook I've listened to without reading the actual book alongside it. I'm a big fan of Sean and Johnny, but sometimes their books can get dense--not in a bad way, but you have to delve really deep inside because their worlds are insanely detailed. But their style works incredibly well in audio, so well in fact, that this is my new favorite way of consuming their stuff. The story was so much fun--all the technology, the characters, and the way their stories interweave without many of them ever meeting. It's thought-provoking, too, and it really makes you think about the future. I'm really eager to see where it goes. I didn't think I would be a Beam guy, but I ended up liking it a lot. The narration was stellar. I especially loved Rachel Fulginiti as Kai and Ray Chase as Doc. They really brought the characters to life. All of the narrators were good, but some were stronger than others. Writing style-wise, there's a lot to love. It's sumptuous without being too overbearing and imaginative and intriguing. It translates extremely well into audio, too, which is a plus. Don't NOT read this without the audiobook! It's that good.
Date published: 2015-06-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book, terrible grammar It gets 4 starts from me. I love the book, fascinating for anyone interested in sci fi and interested in what the future could hold for us. It would get 5 stars if the grammar wasn't absolutely terrible!
Date published: 2014-10-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Beam Excellent read. Was disappointed when I got the end. Didn't want to end. :-)
Date published: 2014-06-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Check it at least once Great story. Frustrating to read since no one proof read it.
Date published: 2014-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Check it at least once This could be our future. Technology is more invasive and more controlling with each passing decade. And who controls everything? This book was imaginative and well written. I enjoyed how the characters were portrayed and developed and the plot keeps you engaged. Well done!
Date published: 2014-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Check it at least once DISCLOSURE: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. What is Sci-Fi? Sci-Fi usually projects a future that humanity will find itself within, where the rules have changed and the ethics and morality of the past — i.e. TODAY — are put to the question. Ender’s Game dealt with the moral question, not yet posed by reality, of “What should humanity do when we encounter an alien race that seems hostile?” Further books in the series broadened this to, “What about if we meet a new, benign race of primitive technology?” and “What are humanity and sentience?” Asimov’s I, Robot dealt with the future of robotics that he saw swiftly approaching and how humanity would have to deal with it. Among the questions he posed are, “Does artificial life deserve the rights of all life?” and “Do we have the right to remove from our creations the same free will that God has given to us, his own creations?” And so we come to the Beam. SLIGHT SPOILERS: The Beam deals with a futuristic America in which our two current political parties are extrapolated to their extremes. There are only the two parties: Enterprise and Directorate. Members of Enterprise enjoy the ultimate in free-market capitalism, free from regulation or restraint, but have no safety net. If they fail, they starve. If they succeed, they become the richest people on the planet. Members of Directorate have their every basic need tended to by the government. They will never starve, never die of illness, and only have to work if they want to (as most menial tasks are automated in this future world of the late twenty-first century). Their trade off comes from the fact that they cannot rise above their position: they receive their dole and must accept it, because they may receive no other income directly. All in Directorate are equal. In Enterprise, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In Directorate, all are equal in their mediocrity. Political affiliation is a choice, and binds one to the party he or she has chosen. But every six years comes Shift, where a member of society may (if they wish) change from one party to the other. The balance of the parties’ power can change dramatically during Shift. Senate seats are determined by how many citizens belong to each party. Hence, both parties work hard to ensure as many people choose to join or remain with their party as possible. In the midst of this, a new technology is emerging that could change the balance of power, and perhaps the very bedrock of society, forever. Its source is uncertain, and only one of The Beam’s main characters knows about it: Doc, a grey-market nano enhancement vendor who caters to clients with a flair for the unusual in their bionic enhancements. Aside from Doc, an impressive cast of characters populates this book, ranging across the entire spectrum of society, from ultra-rich Enterprise agents, party-ruling Directorate members, vapid artists, high-class escorts and members of the mysterious Organa (who I suspect will have a LARGE role to play as the series unfolds). The question posed by The Beam is: Who would you be? What would you choose? Would you rather be cared for by a government, entrusting them with all responsibility for your life, and thereby ensuring safety for yourself and those dearest to you, your family and friends? Or are you a risk-taker? Would you rather cast yourself recklessly into the jaws of society and battle your way to the top in a winner-takes-all gamble? I know my choice. Do you? I will be reading every installment of this series the moment it comes out. I have already highly recommended it to others. I will continue to do so. It is the best science fiction I have read in a long, long time. Not since I was a teenager reading Ender’s Game have I felt this involved in a series. 5 Stars.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Check it at least once I just finished the first Episode in this collection and I have to say it was well worth the read. In a "distant" future that seems not so distant a possibility mankind has given themselves over to "the beam". While there are different sects the all powerful beam runs our lives and makes them easier and more regulated than ever. Add to that a seven year "shift" that allows people to choose what kind of life they'd like to live. Either one that means they have no help but can rise as far as their skills will let them, or one that makes sure they have enough but never more than enough. Add in some fascinating characters and a complex plot surrounding the beam and you'll read the whole thing faster than you thought you possibly could. True to it's suggestion, the individual books are short (more like an episode) and they leave you with a cliff-hanger wanting more. I can't wait for season 2!
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Beam Becomes a tighter story as it progresses. looking forward to future additions
Date published: 2013-12-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Beam Becomes a tighter story as it progresses. looking forward to future additions
Date published: 2013-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Beam, Season 1 compilation Absolutely an awesome read! It's invented, convoluted and intelligent. The aspects within make a creative, intellectual, mechanically inclined and medically forefronted mind bubble with all kinds of questions and possibilities in relation to the ideas and complexities contained within.
Date published: 2013-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The best sci-fi book ever! Great read, can't put it down for the life of me. Not sure what I'll do when I finish this...
Date published: 2013-11-18