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Tokyo Green by C.D. Wight, reviewed by Casey Dorman


Tokyo Green

by C.D. Wight

Reviewed by Casey Dorman

Tokyo Green is a very satisfying novel, although it is somewhat hard to categorize. It certainly qualifies as science fiction, since the story unfolds in a world in which robots and AIs do much more than they do at present and have taken over many of the jobs now performed by humans. The economic dilemma caused by this revolution is part of the background to the novel’s plot. But instead of robots taking over the world or AIs running amok, the story is a very human one, of a central character’s struggle with finding work, behaving ethically, and integrating himself with the AI world around him, some of which he created.

Tomo, the central character returns to Japan after a tsunami destroys his parents’ home, killing them. He quits his American job as an AI developer and steals the latest version of an android AI. He cannot return to the U.S. and he must carve out a way to earn a living and at the same time help his elderly grandmother in Japan. As he gradually builds a small empire comprised of managing robots who provide elder care and developing a hydroponic farm on the roof of his grandmother’s apartment house (illegally growing pot as part of his business), and resurrecting the stolen android brain to assist him, he is confronted by an evil corporate CEO who is trying to kill all of Japan’s elderly, among other things.

The pace of Tokyo Green is absorbing and methodical, reminding me of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition, and the technical aspects of the story are presented in an engaging and usually exciting way that is easily understandable by the layman. Tomo, the main character is charismatic and deft at all sorts of technical and engineering magic, allowing him to solve problems that would seem insurmountable. The story builds to an exciting climax that defies the reader to turn away from until it reaches its conclusion. 

I’ve been to Japan and I enjoyed the location descriptions. More than the locations, the characterization of the Japanese cultural mindset and how that is part of the plot as well as the background made the book even more fascinating. 

If you want a solid, not altogether impossible science fiction story with believable characters, lots of tension, and taking place in what, for most readers will be an exotic location, this is the book for you. It is a thinking person’s sci-fi story, plausible, sociological, and fun to read.

Tokyo Green can be found on Amazon

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