Wireless by L.A. Witt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mine is the second one.
Speculative fiction is never so eerily plausible as in WIRELESS. In a mix of Big Brother and prude Victorian sexual repression, WIRELESS shows a scary future of isolation. Humans are prevented from any type of bonds. There are no connections because the government paints any type of physical contact as subversive. Those interested in even touching another person are one step away from the physical sexual act. In this future, sex is prescribed as a medication which can only be taken through a virtual machine simulating sexual relations. It's clinical and without feeling. Having relations outside of the simulation machines is even illegal since there are cameras in everyone's home to monitor.
Keith is an average citizen frightened by the perverted people going native with skin to skin loving. He operates the sex machines to get people off. It is as if he is living in a dream and suddenly wakes up. The catalyst is Aiden, a patient who creates a virtual sex partner resembling Keith. Aiden leads Keith down a path of forbidden lusts come to life. It's hot, sweaty and completely illegal. All of these encounters are hidden away from the cameras which seem to exist everywhere in this world.
While Ms. Witt creates a seemingly crazy world, is it really that far off? There are cameras all over most cities. Cabs have video cameras. All homes with computers or laptops have cameras. Even the video gaming systems like Xbox have cameras which can be controlled remotely. Anyone telling you otherwise is lying. With the NSA now piggy backing on internet connections and monitoring people's activity, what is the next step? Isn't that how it all starts? In the name of eradicating sexually transmitted diseases, the government in this story pushes for sex with machines. Has anyone seen the latest advances in sex toys? My closet is filled with them and I have noticed an uptick in erotic toy usages and decrease in physical relations with a human partner. There are some disturbing parallels which Ms. Witt highlights in an extreme way.
Ms. Witt does a great job of creating a "what if" scenario. Her characters are secondary to the concepts she brings to light. However, the scenarios are not well fleshed out. She needs to take it one step further with more ramifications of these government controls. The reader sees the result of the laws, but what else will happen due to these rules? How did it all start? Is there a beginning and is this just in the former state of California? What other conspiracies are there? What about the people in control? How are they living? I find it hard to believe those in control are following the same rules. Is this worldwide or just an isolated location? And why is it that Keith is being monitored more than others?
There are threads to this story which are left hanging. If there is a follow up story to expand the world and provide more background, it would help. As a standalone, it leaves the reader a bit dissatisfied with unanswered questions. The contrast between fake and real sex is well done and increases the sensual sensations. This m/m dystopia story is recommended for those who love conspiracy theories.
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