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Against the Machine: Manifesto
Guernica Editions, Fall 2021
400 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771836951
ISBN10: 1771836954
$25.00 Canada, $21.95 US

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Mel Buckworth, dependable family man, loses his manufacturing job through recession. Having lost his sense of purpose his pride sidelines him as he discerns his lack of digital skills so apparent in his children's generation. He is galled by his daughter Dani's university friend, Stanley Best, who is about to achieve fame in the fields of nano technology and artificial intelligence. As Mel desperately attempts to find equilibrium he estranges his family, leaves his wife and enlists the help of a greedy grad student. Will Baker teaches Mel the skills he will need to wreak revenge on a system seemingly discarding him. As his aptitudes grow he begins to use the internet, the very thing he despised, as a weapon to inflict his reprisals. Slowly he turns terrorist to deliver his message: that humans will succumb to machines and the social system controlling them. As his acts grow more lethal, Mel knows he must make an indelible declaration. A “manifesto” to be remembered.

When they came for him he knew what would happen.

He even knows them. Gary Wilson, shift foreman and Stan Oblauski, Union Rep. They come toward him slowly. Hesitant. Doing this against their wills.

Mel Buckworth lowers the weft wire in his hand, half inch black bar. He brakes the big weaving machine. Carefully. It is big. Powerful. He shuts it down with the job half done. A long train of warp wires trail from the machine's back end like cryonic black snakes frozen in mid-slither. Sliding the weft bar, crimped and heavy in his hand, back into the machine's quiver he takes out his earplugs then removes his safety glasses.

Books by Brian Van Norman

Against the Machine: Luddites Against the Machine: Manifesto Immortal Water