May 29, 2015

Weird Science: a review of Django Wexler's "John Golden: Freelance Debugger"

John Golden: Freelance Debugger
by Django Wexler
narrated by Kevin T. Collins & Jorjeana Marie
running time: 2 hrs. 26 mins.
Audible Studios
(ebook published by Ragnarok Publications)
Available on

There is nothing exciting about working IT. Nothing. Django Wexler found a way to make it exciting though, and all he had to do was throw in a metric ton of sci-fi and fantasy to do it. Sounds about right. It's hard to pin down, but I suppose if you took The IT Crowd, threw in some Johnny Mnemonic, then you might wind up with John Golden: Freelance Debugger.

It's less than a hundred pages, and the Audible version I listened to clocked in under two-and-a-half hours. And the story just whizzes by with action and snark galore.

So imagine a world in which faeries are real and they have a knack for infecting technology. Enter John Golden. He's like a Ghostbuster ... well, a Faebuster. Just a blue-collar guy with a particular set of skills and his sister, Sara, backing him up on the job. While managing to provide a good amount of tension and daring do through the course of the novella, things are kept fairly light as far as tone goes. A lot of witty repartee between John and Sara, especially with her serving as a bit of a narrator or voice of reason through a series of footnotes that complement the story.

Kevin T. Collins and Jorjeana Marie do a great job bringing the characters to life with an instant chemistry that has them, if not battle weary siblings, at least a familial bond in battle.

There's a second John Golden book, which I'll be reviewing soon, and after that who knows. I'd like to think Wexler has more stories in this universe to come, because if not then this is a cruel tease of what might have been.

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