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ReStart: Stories of the Cairn Age, by Scott Bollens

In post-chaos 2052, a re-programmed investigator seeks to uncover the possibilities for independent human thinking after decades of humankind’s addiction to a dominating computer network. This computer network wreaked havoc in society by redefining geographies, segregating populations, and creating catastrophic wars between computer-defined groups.

Amidst the unexplained cessation of the interconnect network, Jared Rohde faces vexing challenges in his search for a dependable truth, bedeviled by personal frailties and psychic seizures, puzzling encounters with traumatized individuals in war-torn cities, professional linkages to a mysterious ReStart organization advocating societal reform, and the pervasive effects of the mind-bending computer super-network. In attempting to restart society based on human cognition, individuals struggle between the hard work of re-gaining independent cognition and an addictive longing for the personal freedom of un-thinking instinctual reactivity to computer stimuli.

In ReStart: Stories of the Cairn Age by Scott Bollens, we experience a near future both eerily familiar and disturbing, an anthropological narrative of the effects of algorithmic sorting, of social engineering gone awry. As his investigation deepens, Rohde’s self-identity and the survival strategy of the algorithmic network intertwine, raising shocking implications for the future of human consciousness.

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