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Company Town by Madeline Ashby
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Company Town

by Madeline Ashby

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2332170,851 (3.6)31
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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
I bumped into this title shelving the new books, then again on a blog (or perhaps GR review) from a co-worker....
Captivating, different, slightly dystopian, set in the near future. A city, the company town, created on the towers of oil rigs in the Atlantic off the coast of Canada; failing oil rigs, the boom definitely busted. A new company comes in to "save" the city... but not really. The main character (Hwa) is a treat.
Telling no more, very definitely worth checking out.

Good for fans of Cory Doctorow, Margaret Atwood, David Lynch. Was chosen as a Canadian Reads nominee. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
Corporateisation versus the misfit in this dystopian novel by Madeline Ashby.
By taking current trends; big companies becoming globally huge and power-full, nano technology moving into medicine, fossil fuel resources dwindling, the internet of things, facial cognition, Ashby has created a believable future where humanity is balanced on a knife edge.
Stay on earth and fix it or transform humanity into an augmented hybrid where the wealthy just bugger off to the stars leaving the poor masses to muddle through.
Go Jung-hwa known as Hwa works as a bodyguard for the sex workers protected by The United Sex Workers of Canada. Yes the whole thing is Unionized and legal on this floating city. The Lynch family have recently purchased the entire complex and no-one is sure of their motives. Status quo or scrap and sell.
Hwa encounters the family and the adventure begins - who does she trust when her friends and sex workers she protects are brutally murdered one by one. ( )
  Robert3167 | Jan 12, 2018 |
I enjoyed her Machine Dynasties books but this was disappointing. Muddled, implausible, too many coincidences. ( )
  SChant | Dec 26, 2017 |
I don't know how to say this without feeling like a traitor to bookworms everywhere, but I think I would enjoy Company Town more as a tv show than a book.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the writing itself. Company Town has a fantastic story, a gripping plot, a compelling exploration of social issues, and a wonderful cast of characters (including the most kickass heroine I've read in awhile). It just so happens that the vast majority of the time, I would rather watch sci-fi than read it, and everything that I love about Company Town makes me feel that even more.

So, I guess that's the big disclaimer about my opinion of the book -- I liked it so much that it made me want to experience it in an alternative format. That makes no logical sense, but let's just go with it.

The things I love about this story include:
1. The union aspect. Admittedly, my experience with sci-fi books is limited (see: would rather watch a screen adaptation), but I haven't read much that involves labour relations.
2. It's not just labour relations -- this book also tackles environmentalism, corporate greed, sex work, privacy, bodily autonomy, and more. For such an intense book, this has an incredible amount of relevance to daily life today.
3. The diversity. This book has some pretty impressive representation for marginalized groups, including people of colour and people with disabilities. Sci-fi tv has a pretty big issue with character diversity, so this was refreshing to see.
4. Hwa. I don't always enjoy main characters with a brutal side, but oh my goodness, I love her.
5. This is a small thing, but I also adore the optometrist.

The whole time I was reading Company Town, I was thinking about quotes I've read where people talk about how ridiculous it is that when you're looking at sci-fi and fantasy -- genres with limitless potential -- stories seem to fall into the same tired stereotypes and tropes, plots seem subject to current social standards and biases. And why does that happen? Why can we envision a world with space travel but not a main character of colour? Why can we accept elves and orcs but not LGBT elves and orcs?

I feel like Company Town is if not a direct answer to that, then a solution, something that I'll recommend the next time someone asks for a sci-fi recommendation.

So, I guess that's where I stand on Company Town. There is so much that I love about the book, and there is so much that feel very needed. As far as personal enjoyment goes, I don't think this was the book for me, emphasis on book. Because wow, if there is ever some kind of gritty screen adaptation, I will be all. over. it. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
This is basically an advanced cyber-punk thriller wherein a damaged (yet determined) bodyguard for a sex-workers' collective gets hired by a CEO who's like Elon Musk on crack to protect his son from threats that might have a trans-singularity origin. I wanted to like this novel on the basis of Ashby's previous work but at the end of the day it felt somewhat incoherent to me; file under ambitious but flawed. Frankly, this book needed to be longer to better develop the plot and the actual threat. ( )
  Shrike58 | Nov 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated to Richard Edward, the teacher who taught me about the past and changed my future.

And it is written in memory of the missing and murdered indigenous women of Canada. Rest in power.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0857665367, Paperback)

Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she's an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she's been charged with training the Family's youngest, who has been receiving death threats - seemingly from another timeline. 

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability - serial killer? Or something much, much worse...?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)

"New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd. Hwa is of the few people in her community to forgo bio-engineered enhancements, but her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline? Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be--but now, the danger is personal" --… (more)

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