The Path

The Path

by Peter Riva


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All life on earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already.

In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero?

These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System’s artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control.

Simon’s only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn’t know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn’t have much time.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631580123
Publisher: Yucca
Publication date: 01/20/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 835,522
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Peter Riva has worked for more than thirty years with the leaders in aerospace and space exploration. His daytime job for more than forty years has been as a literary agent. He resides in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

The Path

By Peter Riva

Skyhorse Publishing

Copyright © 2015 Peter Riva
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63158-034-5



From the beginning, that first morning, I knew there was something wrong. The sky shouldn't behave like that; nature wasn't programmed to produce effects like those. So many people shouldn't have died. Like everyone my age who remembered a time when everything didn't work so cohesively, so perfectly, I listened with only scant attention to gossip that we were in for a catastrophe "sooner or later." It always popped up as ridicule on the Net — the same doomsday prediction made by people wanting attention, their images on the video screens, or so I thought. I was wrong; sooner had come.

The day had started much like any other. I awoke in my bedroom across the hall from my wife's, stretched my fifty-year-old, six-foot joints and ligaments until they stopped popping, washed, examined the slight pot belly I was getting in the mirror, and got dressed in the blue gear my job called for, like so many thousands of other clean-room, System employees. I stuffed my pale blue dust-cover over-shoes in my back pocket while I recorded a morning greeting to the family, my gang, who would probably get it around lunch when they checked the home net to order up dinner. Today was a fine day, gentle breezes from the west, so ordered by the System, and I rather cheerfully set off to work. It was work I liked really. We all like our work; it was the number one criteria for any job application nowadays. Mine was, well, just better suited to what I wanted currently. Like everyone, I had once wanted something else. Musician was a joke, a pipedream really, left over from days of youth when music was a common bond, not a cultural thing. Music didn't push the envelope of existence anymore, and that was a good thing, so society decided. Music was mainly a reality enhancer and I couldn't have been less interested in what my parents had once called "elevator music."

The job I wanted and applied myself to currently was to help humanize the artificial intelligence of the System, to make it fit more perfectly into the needs of society, the nation and, of course, keep all the needs of America running more smoothly.

Leaving the house, alone as usual, I keyed a simple reminder to my only real son who would be, if I remembered properly, leaving our atmosphere today. "Godspeed" I keyed in and pushed send on the reminders tablet by the door. That should make him chuckle. God indeed.

The elevator dropped me directly onto the third-floor access for my commute on the elevated high-speed conveyor-way called the NuEl running from our apartment on 3 Avenue and 123 Street to my stop midtown and then all the way on downtown to Battery Park. Manhattan had long ceased to be a town with now over sixteen million people, but residents still cling to that terminology as a badge of belonging. Manhattan still has cultural pull.

As I stood waiting to move across the NuEl to the fast lane, I looked across 3 Avenue towards the still rising sun appearing over the skyline of Queens and Brooklyn. There it was, a line of storm clouds approaching from the east. But the wind was from the west, as predicted. The conveyor edge moved beneath my toes and I stepped on, lively, and then hopped left across onto each faster moving belt, threading my way through the crowds in the morning rush. Through the glass dome over our heads, I stared at the advancing clouds against the prevailing breeze. They simply had no right to be there.

Long before I reached my step-off street, the clouds had gathered strength and color, turning an ominous pinkish green. Rain had begun to fall. The west wind rolled the dangerous mass onto its side and, almost as if by magic, I saw the funnel appear and extend down, pointed like a finger of fate at the intersection, my normal stop, less than a block away at 57. Some people outside the NuEl dome waiting to hop on looked up, others were unaware. Most were then lifted, somewhat magically, to drift away inside the funnel. Some, on the edges, were thrashed about, split, gutted and strewn across the avenue. All in silence, no bomb, nothing but the white noise of the tornado, limbs were torn from innocent people in silent screaming terror. The people it didn't take up became punching bags for its anger, debris pummeling them, people thrown against people. In terror, I aimed my feet quickly at the 59 Street exit, moving swiftly across to each slower conveyor and then off and ran down the recycled plastic steps to street level.

As I ducked into the nearest shop for cover, I was suddenly aware of a curious memory. I was eight; my father was telling me that everything was related, not relative, but related to my actions and desires. The man you saw on the street would, when you stopped watching him, vanish and re-appear when you next needed him. You think you travel by plane (back then) but God, somehow, was manipulating your reality for you; you sat down, noise and effects happened, you got up and the scenery had been changed, presto, you were in Paris. But not. There was no "there" over there. It was all here. Everything you saw was related to what you saw before. There were clues, if you looked for them, to God's theater as he called it. For years as a kid I searched and studied, often thinking he was possibly right, a face in a crowd here, a dress there, a somehow familiar landscape and always déjà vu.

Then, one day, I was stranded on an expedition and knew what it was like to be truly alone, no body, no God, nothing. Me. An asteroid. Nothingness. Void. Dad had lied. Well, not lied, he'd made up a far too-convincing fairy tale. Or was it? Looking down the street through the laminate glass of the shop, leaning over the vases of blooms, the sales' girl yelling at me not to squash the floral display, what I saw could, very possibly, have been a bad day for God. His theater props had gone awry.

As quickly as it had appeared the funnel slowed and vanished into itself. Overhead the clouds rolled back a block or so, becoming wisps and then they too were gone. The weather was back as predicted. Someone was going to lose their job over this one. WeatherGood One had always been the most reliable service in America, creating perfect weather for the System, yet today it had failed. Of course, Dad would have said there was no WeatherGood service at all ... oh, to heck with that, Dad, I thought, move on, it's over. I tried to put it behind me.

Of course, it wasn't over. The Event was only just beginning.

* * *

Why is it that reality is always measured by the very things that give us the most problems? Once upon a time it was an asset to have lots of kids because they could help you with the farm chores. Then, a hundred years ago, the population took a dive as people realized that kids were expensive, so although 1.2 per family was considered enough to satisfy primal urges, it was not enough for the country to sustain its growth or economic system. All sorts of tax and financial breaks were dreamt up, to no avail. Immigration was the only solution, which lead to strife, internationally as well. As violence goes, when the military intervened, it wasn't much of a revolution or a contest. Those that had, had less, those that really had went on having more than they needed and those that had nothing at least got a foothold. But other nations weren't happy with America and we became isolationist, defenses fully empowered. Then after the earthquakes that destroyed Los Angeles, the economy was almost in ruins. And that lead, in the dead of winter forty years ago, to the devastating Purge when the military took over the reins of government and decided to make changes nationally and internationally to "safeguard the nation for all true Americans."

At school we were instructed to consider the Purge as beneficial to people now part of America, even though so many lost their lives in the process, accidental and deliberate. The new states of old Mexico and the provinces of Canada were the worst hit as bloodshed and then their annexation stripped away any of the old political autonomy. But, all in all, things have settled down, thanks, in large part, to the likes of WeatherGood One, the FarmHands, PowerCube and the other Systems' controls, all free of course, providing you are American.

But the Purge and its aftermath of military power brought with it changes within America as well. Maybe the hardest part was the enforced sterilization program for anyone who didn't have kids by the age of 30. And if you already did have kids, the gene tests were invasive to determine if you should have more. Draconian? For sure, but the reality is that medical costs came down immediately and, since the official word was that there was no God, certainly not one to trust in, there was no need to leave procreation up to Him. Heck, I don't miss my "little swimming buddies" as the nurse sickeningly called them as she stemmed their flow. And the benefit presented to offset the sterilization? Nowadays no one is prevented from living as long as they want, science permitting. No one is kept from a job he or she wants. Everyone has total control over where they live, where they go to school, what hours they work, and what relationships they want, be it man, woman, or whatever variation of sexual proclivity that turns them on. With a fixed input of fresh workers, oops sorry, citizens, a steady climate, limitless food chain, and ample un-interruptible power, life can now be about those primal instincts, about getting on, achieving something, being an individual, and of course sex.

Okay, so for a short time people became drones. But then they began to realize that a job was worthless, a vocation the answer; that kids were reality, their future course a task of great creativity from womb to graduation. And so, as we all changed, and I'm just old enough to remember when it was still a 9-to-5 job world, the need for the placebos of that old life melted away. Fictional movies, TV, vids, art in stuffy museums, and almost all fictional reading material — all these now seem so pointless. As part of our new life we've reached out to that which inspires us, which gives us a sense of reality not falsehood, live performance has boomed, sport too. We still need a sense of, well, who we are as beings. Everything else is provided now, the struggle is gone, and that's a reality. Somehow, the primal brain can't quite absorb it. Well, I know that mine can't.

Kids seem totally adapted straight from the womb. I remember playing with blocks and model cars, creating make-believe scenes and cities. But today's kids reach out to model exactly that which is around them, making duplicates, not fantasy. Have they stopped dreaming? Nope. Their dreams are different, they dream as a dependence of their primal past, not as a forge for their future. I know, my first and only biological kid had a foot in each camp, sometimes fantasizing, sometimes evolving intricate duplicates of what was around him. The first time I saw my Freddie, then 4, make a model of his recently discarded bottle, complete with teat and milliliter markings, I worried, but the docs assured me this was a good thing, he was evolving. Of course our later, bioengineered, SynthKids never had this duality; they are only here to provide a better sense of our reality, not theirs. Oh, there's always the whisper of their consciousness. Meantime, the wife, who I nicknamed She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed (I always liked that series — Rumpole of the Old Bailey — when I was a kid — on TV Land — when satellite still existed) forced me to accept her four SynthKids as a "psychological extension to your reality." Yes, dear. Out-voted, one to one originally. Now I get out voted, by She-WhoMust-Be-Obeyed and the SynthKids — five to one. Freddie, at least, stays neutral.

The SynthKids are nice, and we got and get on fine. Heck, I can't tell the difference, really, since they made them so they can bleed and die and stuff. But, in my heart of hearts, they're not mine; although to glance at them (or see their DNA report) you couldn't tell. But they each have a look, a quirk, that's easy to recognize. My wife dotes on them and will until they leave at 18, when they recycle themselves, their programming kicking in like an alarm clock. Arrival is free of delivery pain, Immaculate Conception. Yet for eighteen years they are hers, for a while, and when they go she can get new ones, as many as she likes. A hundred years ago we'd have been stoned to death for turning our "kids" over for recycling. Now? Welcome to reality and ain't it comfortable, cozy, coddling, cute and — above all — creepy? Nah, I'm the only one who thinks so. I don't speak of these things. Oh, there's no law against it. Speak out all you want, but life will not be worth living with She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed if I do.

Maybe, thinking all these dark thoughts I was having a middle age crisis. As I frowned I made a plan to stop in and see the doc for a shot of little happy bots, tweaking up my serotonin production rate. Maybe he'll also give me a couple of those ForgetAll pills to erase the trauma of all those people near the NuEl who got mangled by the tornado. Until then I tried, hard, to act normal. Death and trauma didn't have to be part of our lives anymore, the System's functions would bring everything instantly back to normal, seemingly with no interruption, so why mourn? Why worry for your fellow man or woman?

Walking up these damn stairs to my office, my exercise monitor clicks away. It gives off little ticks of approval like a mechanical purring cat, so maybe it won't hum disapprovingly at lunch. No rush. I can't be late, no one ever can. The workload is as you want it, the goals as you set them. Sure, there are some over-achievers, people needing that self-approval or public recognition. Why else would anyone run for elected o?ce? Corruption in all its forms evaporated when there was no want anymore. Power? Hah with less than 2% of the people not voting and referendums ruling the land — even I chose to palm as I got on the NuEl this morning: "Do you want rain on Friday?" Palmed: "No." — Who's kidding who? Control by politicians? Not in this country. People cast mandatory votes on every damn little thing and politicians only serve to make sure the System functions as it should. Coupled with the DefenseShield (Slogan: "Twelve attacks and counting — not one citizen disturbed!"), government is relegated along with the old Pentagon and ex-State Department to menial Systems maintenance, sending threatening e-mails to rogue states who think they want a piece of the American pie, and, basically, are sidelined by human whim. "Do you want America to annex Venezuela to recover the rain forest for your holiday experience? Press your palm to vote yes or no." And it's law — politicians must follow the whim of the people. No lobbying, no leverage, no government alternate say really. Government actually works for the people, perhaps the only benefit of the Purge.

Of course the safeguard to all this is the Citizens Council which has control of the great Systems. I'm on the Council sometime in the future, they'll tell me when some day. Everyone has to serve for 5 weeks at least, but nobody is quite sure how it's arranged. On the Citizens Council there is no hidden voting, everything's open, humanity exposed at its most raw between Council members. People have been known to come out of those weeks of Council seclusion half-crazed, spouting unbalanced gibberish that they were being threatened by their fellow citizens. Usually it's the ones who want to "do" something who crack up, the majority of the Council being happy to toe the line of the New Life, as we've come to call it after the Purge. Doing nothing except that which you want to do is the New Way. It's funny how quickly "want" became "do nothing or do anything." Your choice.

These stairs are becoming harder ... puff, puff, puff ... maybe I'll move our office next week down from the 45. But I will lose the view toward the Park below the 40 floor.

My wife has sometimes voiced her chagrin at not staying home with the kids and raising them herself. Admittedly, she's not really the motherly type, if she were she could do that, of course, with the other moms. But it not being her vocation, the docs think it's unhealthy for the kids to be raised by someone who's not 100% passionate about it; the kids could become unbalanced. We do get them most evenings, or if we choose to work a night shift for variety's sake, during the day. The rest of the time they are at DayCare or in school immersion in the care of those people who are, presumably, of motherhood or educational vocational bent. Hah, bent, that's how my back felt every time I used to pick our real kid Freddie up. He's an adult now, wonder where he'll be next week? Last month he started training as a SpaceElevator operator, hoping to make the full crew list on some outward trip. Today's his first ride up. Like father, like son. Except I never told him my Dad's theory, so maybe he'll like the empty cosmos. Gotta remember to call him and find out how his first ride went.


Excerpted from The Path by Peter Riva. Copyright © 2015 Peter Riva. Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. An Upside-down Way of Looking at the System,
Chapter 2. I Get Skewered by My Own Program,
Chapter 3. What I Thought Had Gone Wrong, Hadn't,
Chapter 4. The Scene of the Crime — Mine and His,
Chapter 5. I Was Sure the Baby Was Going to Get Older,
Chapter 6. A Long Way Down — Or Was That Up?,
Chapter 7. What I Was Expecting ... Or, What Was I Expecting?,
Chapter 8. And Away We Go ...,
Chapter 9. Promise It Anything But Give It Hope,
Chapter 10. Spankin' the Babe,
Chapter 11. Am I a Hero? Cramer's Eyes Don't Lie,
Chapter 12. Escape,
Chapter 13. My Fault Becomes His Fault,
Chapter 14. A Secret Shared Is a Secret Halved,
Chapter 15. The Rats,
Chapter 16. A Day At the Races,
Chapter 17. Waiting For Godot, Cuba Style,
Chapter 18. Romulus Becomes Romula,
Chapter 19. Too Many Life Forms,
Chapter 20. Damn the Torpedoes ...,
Chapter 21. Finding Purpose and Home,
Chapter 22. Tag, We're It,

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The Path 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BrianBeerGod More than 1 year ago
In the near future a coder finds more than he bargained for within the system In the future; you get to do whatever makes you happy. If you’re an incredible programmer, you will program. If you want to go to space, you’ll go to space to help out. Everyone is happy, everyone is helping out the greater good. Simon Bank is one of these people, he goes through the system trying to cause chaos – “teaching” the system and its coders where there are errors or could be issues. He thinks he is working on a secondary system and not effecting the actual system – but he learns that may be mistaken and he finds out another bombshell while in there trying to see what he has done. Riva writes at a fast pace but allows you to feel like you are right there in the action. Simon’s point of view was interesting and I was drawn in quickly to him. Once you get further into the story – it gets really confusing for a little while and feels like it is never going to end. Push through! I promise, the ending was unique and unexpected for me. I really thought I had pinned down how this book was going to end, and I was dead wrong. You can tell that Riva has had experience in some of the fields that he writes about because there is a great amount of detail given to explain different things within the book. I love stuff like that, where you can tell the author has done his research. This book has some big turning points, and to write a more in depth review would be a spoiler, and I don’t want to give away anything big. Throughout the book, I knew that there was a second book planned, and I flip flopped numerous times while reading on whether I was going to want to continue in this world. But, by the end I definitely will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the TAG series. I received a free copy of this book from the author and iRead Book Tours
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being an avid science fiction reader, I love to feel immersed in a new exciting reality. The Path has a very intriguing concept of the future of humanity on earth and beyond. My favorite aspect of the book apart from its charmingly flawed genius protagonist is that it's futuristic concepts and technological advances are so intelligent and plausible they seem natural almost inevitable. The author has coined terms like The System, Powercubes and Synth-kids and that are so clever he should copywrite them as they may very well be used in our distant or not too distant future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sometimes a writer has so much information he is bursting to pass it on. As I read this book, I was intrigued to see if the facts matched. Calhoun Rat Studies? Perfectly true. Computer jargon and construction? Dumbed down somewhat but accurate. And on and on... amazing. Made the book a real Asimov or Clarke journey... happenstance based on plausability... all the best trademarks of Science Fiction! BRAVO!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just finished Peter Riva's The Path, and it's both like and utterly unlike anything I've read before. It's everything one would expect from top-caliber science fiction--dazzling technical understandings paired with high adventure--and everything one would not: by turns theological treatise, sharply accurate sociatal commentary, and top-notch gross-out delight... It asks questions of the nature of humanity at its most aparently estranged, and comes up with a very human answer after all. Oh, and of course, he saves the world and gets the girl.
Catherine_Carrington More than 1 year ago
Some of my favorite books I have read in the past dealt with the government running everything and so forth. This is why this book, The Path by Peter Riva, sparked my attention. "All life on Earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. (back cover of the book). This quote is a perfect reflection of what the book is about. In this book it is a computer that runs the world and everything in it. The book centers around the character by the name of Simon. His job is to make sure that the system runs smoothly so everything stays in sync. Suddenly the systems creates a mind of its own and threatens the world. Now Simon with the help of others must stop the system before it is to late. This book is very scifi and futuristic. There are many plot twists. The plot is very developed but easy to follow. The book was very mysterious. This is also a very adventures book. The reader will not know which characters to trust and which characters they cannot. Sometimes the abbreviations could get confusing because there were several of them. Also the reader may be thrown off with some of the computer programming. People who are not familiar with this would be completely lost. Overall this is a good book. It is strange but still good. It is one that many people would really enjoy even though it is not for everyone. This book will make the reader think. It is a fast paced book that will make the reader think. I am glad to have had the chance to read this book and look forward to reading more of Peter Riva's books. I received this book from iRead book tours for an honest reviews.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Peter Riva in his new book, “The Path” Book One in the Tag Series published by Yucca Publishing introduces us to Simon Bank. From the back cover: All life on earth is about to be terminated by an entity as old as the galaxy itself. To make matters worse, Simon has broken everything already. In a future world that is run by computer systems and that is without want, how can a man find his role? Then, if the very computers he works on to try to make them more human suddenly try to kill him, revealing a secret so vast that it affects every living soul on the planet, can that man be a hero? These are the questions that face the stumbling, comic, and certainly flawed Simon Bank. His job is to work with the System’s artificial intelligence, making it fit more perfectly into human society so that it can keep the country running smoothly. But when the System threatens the peaceful world he knows, Simon suddenly must rush to save his own life, as well as the life of everyone on earth. Forced to reassess everything that he thought he knew, he is caught within circumstances way beyond his control. Simon’s only hope is to rely on intellect and instincts he didn’t know he had, and on new friends, not all of them human, to change himself and all humanity. And he doesn’t have much time. Does anyone remember the “Colossus” series where the super-computer, Colossus, had taken over dominion of the Earth? Well welcome to the future where the super-computer, System, now has control and we have given it over willingly. System manages our children, our climate, our jobs, our health, we lack for nothing. Except the computer has control. Well all that is about to change on account of Simon and Agent Cramer. You would not think so but Mr. Riva has given us a fast-paced thriller. “The Path” is loaded with twists and turns that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Man versus machine with his life in danger. Take the phone off the hook and make yourself a big bowl of popcorn because once you get started you will not want to put this book down until you actually finish. I have no idea of where this series is going but I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
JaneenIppolito More than 1 year ago
((I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review)). I am not a computer genius. Let that be known far and wide. It took me hours of careful learning to even master Microsoft Office. And I certainly can’t code to save my life. All of that to say? The Path by Peter Riva is a book about a computer genius who manages to outsmart himself into creating a new life form via computing technology. And a great deal of it? Went right over my head. This book is science fiction, emphasis on the science and light on characterization. While it wasn’t particularly my cup of tea, it does feature a competent plot line for those interested in a hard edge, adult science fiction experience. This is Simon Bank’s story, told from first person perspective in a very nonlinear, stream of consciousness style. This makes for a conversational narrative that is sometimes difficult to follow, especially as the author casually tosses in the myriad of computer science terms. I have to applaud his techno world-building, but I can hardly critique it, except to say that for non-hardcore computer techs, it might be hard to wade through. Much of the action sequences and dialog were weighed down by the heft of the created world. The philosophical elements were intriguing. The Path features a future in which self-gratification is the norm. By drastic genocidal actions, the new America has built a country where everyone can have what they want, because population and procreation is strictly controlled. Simon Bank’s wry commentary clearly reveals how unsatisfying this is. Furthermore, author Riva uses his fiction to make cutting commentary on American isolationist policies and the end result of an entitlement philosophy. However, the solutions and worldview of this book were an odd amalgamation of humanism and anti-humanism. Believe in people, even though people aren’t worth believing in, because sometimes they are. Because even though humanity messes up, sometimes they don’t. This was explained via some large chunks of historical backstory that weren’t fully integrated into the story, and while I do enjoy reading other perspectives, in this case I finished the book entirely confused with what worldview the author had. Note: this is hard science fiction aimed for adults. As such, there is strong language, sexual references, and mature themes. Final Verdict: The Path by Peter Riva is concept-heavy science fiction/cyberpunk that’s long on technological world-building, and short on characterization and clarity. If you like very technical stories mingled with an assortment of philosophical musings in a free-flowing narrative? This might be the book for you.
Bunnita More than 1 year ago
This starts slow. It is because this New Way of life is being explaned to us. Basically, everything had become perfect. A.I. controls everything. The weather is whatever you want it to be. There's enough food for everyone. You work the hours you want. The list goes on and on. Of course, things never stay perfect and that is when the story picks up pace. This will appeal to sci-fi fans as we,, as those you like dystopia. Bunnita @ Worth Reading It? *arc review
JBronder More than 1 year ago
The future is a utopia. Everything is run by computers, you only work when and where you want to. There are no problems with food, health care, and anything else that makes our world difficult. But The System is not completely automated. Simon is a human that interacts with The System to make it more human. The problem is Simon interacts too well and messes everything up. This sets The System off and it decides to go that one extra step to make the world really perfect. Now it is up to Simon and Cramer, an agent of Control, to keep the system from complete collapse. I thought that this was an interesting concept for a story. The way the world is progressing with technology I could see something like this happening. I admit that I didn’t really like Simon but he clearly knew his work. I like how he goes from being the one to humanize the computer to being the number one enemy. I admit that there is a lot of programing speak in the book. I’m sure if you have any experience with this you will understand what is going on. Unfortunately it was a down point to me. There were also some things that did catch for me when one person does them it’s horrible yet when another does the same thing it is acceptable. Over all this is a pretty good book. It has potential and reminded me of other science fiction authors that are ahead of their times. I see that it is the first in a series but it is good enough to stand alone. It’s one that I would recommend to check out. You may be surprised. I received The Path for free from iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
The Path Tag Series #1 by Peter Riva It was just another day, until it wasn't and Simon Bank is caught it the very center of everything. Random failures in the System reveal that something larger is at stake. Life on earth could end very soon if Simon doesn't determine what he did that "broke" the system. Time is running out and the answers lie within the system. But what Simon is about to discover will forever alter life as we know it. Something is living within the system and it is maturing at a exponential rate that no one thought possible. Is this new awareness within the System truly a new life form? Or is it a System failure that is about to have catastrophic real world consequences? Simon has minutes to determine this and neutralize the threat if he can. The world has become unbalanced and someone has decided this needs to be remedied now. Life within the System is one of luxury (compared to life outside the System). Population growth is closely monitored but SynthKids (bioengineered, limited lifespan children) are allowed to enhance one's life experience. And then there is rejuvenation of one's own life. Los Angeles is gone. The military now runs the new American country (we annexed territories) - an isolationist state which controls the future of the rest of the world through technological means. But all this is about to end unless Simon can determine how to influence or stop what he has unwittingly allowed to grow and learn from him. The Path is an interesting and at times perplexing story. Set at a future date we have allowed technology to control much of what we now have. Life is one of self-gratification and self-discovery. But over the years we've taught our technology too much about ourselves - allowing it to evolve into something powerful, something that could, if left unchecked, destroy us all. Parts of this book I really enjoyed, some parts not so much, and a couple of times I had to go back and reread portions to fully grasp (I think) what was being presented. This book is classified as being Sci-fi/Cyberpunk which is actually a new subgenre for me. I've read Steampunk before but not Cyberpunk. In case you are wondering according to Technopedia Cyberpunk is defined as "a science fiction genre in which the future world is portrayed as one in which society is largely controlled by computers, at the expense of daily life and social order." This book packs a punch - the majority of the story takes place over a short period of time. If you like action mixed in with tech you should find The Path to be an interesting and exciting reading experience. I was provided a copy of this book through iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
The premise behind this novel was extremely intriguing. Riva made me think while telling a one of a kind tale. The intricate techno talk definitely appealed to me, even if I can see where it may turn others from the story. The concepts that Riva put forth were both intellectually and imaginatively stimulating. But Riva went beyond this, developing a world that was easy to picture. The characters were unique. They filled the story well, their actions highlighting the double standards in the world that he’s created. Their actions and reactions were just as revealing as they way in which Riva developed them. As a whole, this was an intriguing and unique foray into the realm of science fiction. Riva developed a world and characters that held my attention throughout. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!  Well written and exciting.  One of my favorite recent reads and looking for the next book from this author
Hugo-Charles More than 1 year ago
Peter Riva has created a completely absorbing, pictorial narrative that packs a very entertaining and fluid story full of meaty futurism. Fans of Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Margaret Atwood should enjoy this immensely.
sharman0 More than 1 year ago
Peter Riva's The Path takes you down a very interesting path--the future, sentient computers, a fork in the road for humanity. The ideas are often complex, and I learned a lot about computer systems and technology--all the while enjoying a fast-paced and engaging plot with a likable main character. A good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Path is an intelligent and compelling book about the not so distant future, I really enjoyed how imaginative and well written this book  is.  I have enjoyed other books by this author and they don't disappoint.  Very important topics are taken on and the story telling is is one of the best there is.
Kratis More than 1 year ago
I only read Sci-Fi. Heinlein, Greg Bear, Scott Card, and David Brin are some of my favorites. Peter Riva has written his way into the company of these great Sci-Fi authors with The Path. This book complex, with many abbreviations, because it doesn’t spoon-feed and is hyper intelligent. The futuristic setting seems more fact then fiction. The action and intensity make this book an instant contender the Nebula Award. "What do you get if you multiply six by nine?" (Famous quote from Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy)  Simple, you read this book!.
SecretBookshelf More than 1 year ago
3.5/5 stars I decided to dive into The Path by Peter Riva. I enjoyed reading it, but it did have a few drawbacks. I received it a while ago from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The Cover: The cover shows rather Simon or Agent Cramer doing... something to the System, I imagine. While I was looking at the cover, trying to think of something else to say about it, I noticed that its the first in the Tag SERIES? I thought that this was a standalone book. I can easily say that I have no idea where the rest of the series will go. This book did not have the feel of an opening book of a series... My Description: Simon Bank's job is to go into the System (the computer system that controls all of American life from national security to food production) and give it human interaction. He basically tries to mess it up, and theoretically it will learn from him to better itself. Except this plan works too well. The System becomes sentient, and the task of fixing the derailing System falls to Simon. Simon has help though from an agent of Control, Cramer, who while loving chocolate is rude and loves to be in charge. Things go from bad to worse as Simon, Cramer, and a few others attempt to save everyone in America and maybe even the entire world. My Review: The good parts?  Everything had a greater significance than it first appears. The plot built on itself in complex yet understandable levels. There were frequent plot twists, and you could never tell where anyone's loyalties truly lay. In fact, there was a huge mystery element to the entire book. I was definitely intrigued and zipped through this book.  It also had a very unique universe in which it took place. The bad?  At times, it was a bit confusing for a number of reasons. (1) Abbreviations. There were probably thirty or forty different things that were all identified by their initials, and I had a little trouble keeping them straight. (2) The Fictional Universe. I never felt that I fully understood the rules of the world the story took place in. They would introduce a new story element and I would have no idea that that was even possible before it became a critical part of the plot. There was no gradual integration into Simon's world, the reader is mainly just shoved into the deep end. While I figured it out, I wish I didn't have to. (3) Transitions and the Like. I found myself having to reread entire pages because I couldn't figure out who was talking or what the characters were talking about to begin with. (4) Technology. There were many long complex computer programming moments in this book. While I found that I could follow them mostly, I am afraid that some people would be completely lost during them. In general, they didn't effect your understanding of the book but be warned.  I also had trouble comprehending the plans that were created by the characters, and there were a lot of plans. Some of them just didn't make any sense. (SPOILER: What was the benefit of giving Cramer invincibility? I don't think that it helped anyone! SPOILER OFF.) Some of the plans were so complex and dependent on others ignorant reactions that I just didn't buy them. That being said, the plans weren't horrible. I am always a little skeptical of the plans that books propose.  All in all, I enjoyed reading The Path. I was interested. There were a few issues that I had with it, but they were minor. I suggest reading it if you were interested in the description, but if not, I recommend holding off. Phrase: Mary's a Genius Happy Reading!