Bionic Afterlife
by Jermaine Emmanuel Crockett
AuthorHouse UK

"By science you not the same as you were in your previous life….You still John but you half human half robot. Follow me."

This short, forty-page story is about a young student named John Moore whose girlfriend Emma dumps him for the school bully, Steven Mccory. Mccory is the leader of a gang, and as John leaves school after a short detention for giving Mccory the middle finger in class, Mccory and his gang jump him. They beat him senseless with a baseball bat, golf clubs, and other items until Mccory finally sinks a knife into John, killing him. But John wakes up a short time later under the care of his science teacher, Mr. Nagaku. Nagaku informs him that he has revived him by turning him into a bionic or half-robot human. He now has more strength and speed plus latent abilities of flight and x-ray vision that he must learn to develop. A re-match with Mccory is arranged. Will John defeat Steven this time? And what does Mr. Nagaku really want?

On the surface, the plot is a rather simple story of an underdog suddenly made able to take on the school bully through magical powers bestowed upon him by a crazy scientist. Thematically, though, the novella is more complicated, dealing not only with bullying but also with the futility of violence and the senselessness of unbridled power without control. The author’s highly idiosyncratic style is very informal, almost in the oral tradition rather than the written. Eschewing grammatical concerns like the proper use of tenses, conjunctions, and even personal pronouns at times, the story is reminiscent of a tale told over a campfire or at a bar. It provides for an economy of words but can take some getting used to. Part science fiction, part coming-of-age, the most likely audience for this kind of work would be young adults.

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