This novella from author M. R. Tapia is a not so subtle look at our infatuation with social media as a couple on their honeymoon become contestants on a sick game show. To me, The Die-Fi Experiment reads like a mix between The Running Man and Takeshi’s Castle! And, if you don’t know what I’m talking about with Takeshi’s Castle then go take a look at it on YouTube. You can thank me later.
I don’t read a lot of extreme horror these days. I feel a lot of writers forsake the actual story and its characters in favour of spraying blood and body parts all over the page. Throughout The Die-Fi Experiment, there are quite a few moments that will make you wince and whilst M. R. Tapia is certainly capable of dishing out the pain, quite often in excruciating ways, he kept this reader engaged with some background about the couple and their relationship. I felt this was a shrewd move as it made me care much more about the characters and their outcome.
Being a novella, the pacing is quick and I actually enjoyed the choppy style to the writing as it bounces between the couple before and during the show. Social media surfing is in itself choppy in the way we endlessly bounce around from one platform to the next. I’m not sure Mr Tapia had this intention in mind when writing the story but I felt that it worked well.
The numerous hashtags throughout show a dark sense of humour at play. The message about social media is quite clear and the story skirts quite close to being preachy, but overall I had a lot of fun with this novella. Congratulations to Mr Tapia on delivering a topical story with solid characters and a message.
4/5 tweets from the Grim Reader.
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