Mark’s #9 Cyber Storm by Matthew Mather (358 pages)

CyberStorm is a novel about the collision of both a metaphorical ‘cyber storm’ and a once-in-a-lifetime winter storm that both descend on Manhattan at the same time.  Though there are thousands of cyber attacks each day against individuals, businesses, and governments, in this story, at least three attacks actually break through and essentially shut down the power grid of the east coast (by the way this has actually happened before).  At the same time, the blizzard outside essentially shuts down  the city of New York’s infrastructure, followed by power, water.

In the days to come, as reality sets in, society begins to break down. First there is the looting, the scavenging for food, the breakdown in healthcare systems, the panic of the mob, disease, lice, hunger, dehydration, hunger, starvation, organized crime, and even cannibalism.

I’ve always been intrigued by dystopian near-future novels, so Cyber Storm fits that bill.  This book asks and explores some important questions for us as individuals and national governments regarding security and preparation for the worst case scenario.

In an age that clamors for the newest smart device, fastest information, and increasingly interdependent technological networks, we uncritically and unceasingly adopt and incorporate such advances as necessary additions to our already frenetic lives.  But as what costs? Sure, we have some vague notion of our need for online security, and we don’t want companies to have unfiltered access to our private data – whatever that means.  Meanwhile we eagerly sign up for whatever new product or feature Google or Facebook or whoever makes available to us to enhance our lives… all for free. If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product. And what happens when our governments follow our lead and are themselves dependent on the technological rivers to keep flowing?

4/5 stars


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