Citizen Zero

Rated 4.00/5 based on 3 reviews
JobNet was supposed to usher in a better life for unemployed David Mills; instead it plunges him into a bitter struggle for survival when he is caught in the midst of a political conspiracy that pushes Britain to the brink of civil war...

A gripping political thriller, Citizen Zero presents a dystopian glimpse of a broken future born in an age of austerity... More

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Words: 107,290
Language: British English
ISBN: 9781458054739
About Mark Cantrell

A coffee-guzzling journalist turned novelist and occasional poet, Mark Cantrell lives and works by the weave of his words.

By day, he works for a media company in Manchester, England, where he writes about the social housing industry. It provides plenty of fuel to keep the old social conscience simmering.

The rest of the time, Mark chases the literary dream.

He is the author of two novels, a host of short stories, and a multitude of articles and thought-provoking essays. Over the years, his writings have appeared in a number of small press 'zines, websites, and multi-author collections.

His fictional work tends to fall into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, with a little macabre horror thrown in for good measure, but he's not averse to touching upon social and political themes too.

That's certainly true of Mark's first novel, the dystopian science fiction thriller, Citizen Zero (Indie release, 2010), but it's also there, twisted into the DNA, of his second, the macabre urban fantasy, Silas Morlock (Inspired Quill, 2013).

Born and bred in Bradford, Mark now lives in Stoke-on-Trent, though he remains proud of his Yorkshire heritage.

Also by This Author


Review by: Sharon E. Cathcart on Nov. 17, 2012 :
David Mills has been on the dole, looking for work, for several years. When he reports to the Job Centre, he is told about Job Net, a virtual reality job hunting system that allows potential employees to interview for work all over the world. He is skeptical, but signs up for the program.

Of course, nothing is quite as splendid as it seems.

Whether or not it was the intention of the author, this dystopian tale felt to me like an appropriately scathing critique of Randian Objectivism. Unemployed, disabled or similarly "less than perfect" people are referred to by the people in power as "zeroes," seen as having no value whatsoever. Those in power, the privileged class, believe it is appropriate to further disenfranchise or even, ultimately, destroy the "zeroes" since they are not seen as making any contribution whatsoever to society.

Of course, revolution is inevitable.

This is a tightly constructed, futuristic piece. I'm hesitant to call it science fiction, although it contains elements thereof. It's more of a cautionary tale, in my mind.

Well written and highly recommended.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: C.C. Cole on Aug. 01, 2011 :
“Citizen Zero” by Mark Cantrell is a complex story about an unemployed man who enters JobNet, a complex totalitarian realm where the real and un-real overlap in this “Orwellian” like story, but with many more characters with diverse experiences. Overall, this is a well-written, highly developed novel that gives a vivid, and sometimes-horrifying picture of a dystopian world. My critique is that the story could be simplified for a more concise message, but to me it’s not a discouragement to potential readers. Four stars!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Crescent Suns eBooks on July 15, 2011 :
This is an interesting and action-filled story about the abuses of governmental power, even though I know it is only intended to be enjoyable fiction. Mark Cantrell does a great job of working the foibles of society and government into his tale of artificial reality.
Needs some better editing, but don't all our indie stories?
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(reviewed long after purchase)

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