This is another deftly written story from Michael Patrick Hicks. Michael’s work often contains a strong social conscience and that is very much the case with this novelette. Preservation is about a cyborg tasked with protecting the South African wildlife inside of a National Park. Poachers are leaving a trail of rhino corpses as they butcher without remorse in the hope of making some big money on the black market and it is up to Kari Agaki to seek and destroy.
Preservation takes a futuristic glance at the poaching industry and in Kari Agaki, we have a strong female protagonist. When Agaki hacks into the brain of one of the poachers she finds details of where she needs to go to put an end to the organisation responsible the murders.
So, what we have is an emotional short story that features plenty of action and a nice sci-fi twist that elevates it from a good story to a really good story. Though perhaps not quite as powerful as Hicks’ other novella, Revolver, Preservation is the perfect way to kill a half hour and become acquainted with the talents of Michael Patrick Hicks. As with everything I’ve read by Hicks, the writing is very sharp, no words wasted, dialogue is crisp and believable and the action scenes are bang on target. It is a short story but acts as a kind of prologue for Hicks’ other books, Convergence and Emergence. A lot of people might know Michael for his reviews-he is an avid reader, like myself, but I encourage you to check out his writing. There is a high level of quality seen in his work and he has a varied catalogue of books to choose from. I really enjoyed Preservation. It took a familiar concept seen in sci-fi and put it into a real-world situation, a situation that doesn’t get as much coverage through the media as perhaps it should. Great work again, Mr Hicks. Another great story from a writer who should be read by more people.
4/5 microchips from The Grim Reader.
Pick up a copy from here.
Check out Michael Patrick Hicks website for more great reads.