Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

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Signal, by Patrick Lee

Patrick Lee writes odd but interesting books. Each starts with an odd premise, and things get weirder from then on. Aliens, alternate universes, parallel timelines, weird conspiracies - he manages to make the strangest things plausible and believable while you're reading them.

His recent one, "Signal", was good. I was absorbed by a plotline involving people sending messages back in time using talk radio to change the past by communicating Google searches to a hidden buried internet server owned by a software billionaire. Somehow the author made it all seem reasonable. Except for one jarring note that I just couldn't believe.

A bad-guy sniper on a distant hilltop shoots one of the good guys. The wounded good guy, who is oozing blood, says that they need to cover up the license plate on the getaway car so the sniper can't track them.

The good guys are in a junkyard full of grease and oil. There is a fire pit with black, sooty ash. There is a dirty shipping container full of wet, sticky mud. They have several dirty blankets, a lot of paper, and several jackets good for covering things up. There are tin cans with sharp edges suitable for removing flat-head screws. The wounded good guy has a hand full of blood that can be smeared onto things.

So, the hero shoots his wounded friend four times in the chest, aiming at the car, to splatter the license plate with blood.

I was believing aliens, time-travelers, evil artificial intelligences, and many other things, but that wasn't something that made sense.
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