Good Fences

Rated 4.00/5 based on 3 reviews
A short story featuring Morris Payne, an elite hacker walking the fine gray line between the virtual and the real in the not-too-distant future. More

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Words: 8,750
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458050762
About M.H. Mead

M. H. Mead is the shared pen name of Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion
Margaret Yang is a writer and parent who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She loves living in the modern age, and can't wait for the day when she has her own flying car. Although parenting, writing and reading fill her days, her true mission in life is to find the perfect slice of key lime pie.
Harry R. Campion is a writer, teacher, and parent who lives in Harper Woods, Michigan. He and his librarian wife are doing their part to bring up the next generation of readers. In addition to reading and writing, Harry's favorite activity is camping in remote areas, especially when he has a canoe and a river to explore.
Margaret and Harry have been friends and co-authors for many years. To learn more about them, or to read more of their stories, visit www.yangandcampion.com.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: C.R. Rice on Sep. 05, 2011 : (no rating)
Good Fences is a micro-fiction that explores the world of Morris Payne, a viker (hacker) who would never label himself as such, after all he’s *better* than a mere hacker, he sails the seas of the e-verse as a pirate, a privateer, and a many of man flags. While the page count might be a little light, it gives a nice view into Mead’s world. I would highly recommend that anyone who enjoys books about AI’s, hackers, or just the cyberpunk genre check this work of fiction out.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: ChrisAllenRiley on July 01, 2011 :
Good Fences is one of the most unique books I’ve had the pleasure of reading in recent memory. It also has the distinction of being one of the best. A near future setting, an agoraphobic, unwanted yet unavoidable guests and illegal activity make for a tense, gripping read.

Despite the fact that this is a relativity short novella, all of the characters are well drawn and completely three-dimensional. There’s not a caricature or poorly developed character to be seen. All are believably written and well motivated, as well. These could very well be the people in your neighborhood.

I found the glimpses into Morris’ panic filled world enthralling. I was supposed to be meeting a friend for lunch, and I thought I’d read in my car for a few minutes before she got there. But I was so engrossed in the story, she had to call me to remind me to come inside and eat. I was utterly enthralled, and I can’t wait for the next novel set in this world.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Caroline Cryonic on June 30, 2011 :
Good Fences is a 8,700 word short story written by co-authors Margaret Yang and Harry R. Campion writing as M. H. Mead. Morris has agoraphobia, which means he has panic attacks in public places and social conditions that he perceives to be out of his control. The conflict revolves around Morris’ interactions with his unwanted neighbours while trying to pull off a major hacking job in the middle of a blizzard with the power going out. Most of the action takes place in Morris’ suburban house in the near future.

Good Fences is an excellent character study. Morris is characterized well and the reader gets a good grasp of the severity of his panic attacks. The neighbours and their backgrounds are also fleshed out. The character interactions feel very natural and they’re all sympathetic despite their conflict of interests.

It’s well-written, but I was personally expecting a bit more science fiction to enjoy it as a standalone story. There isn’t much that I learned about the world-setting beyond the confines of Morris’ home, and it doesn’t deal with any SF concepts beyond some futuristic household appliances and familiar hacker-related tropes. However, it is a great introduction to the protagonist, as the co-authors have a novel in the works with this main character.

Morris himself is an interesting character because he’s the antisocial hacker type taken to the extremes. Whether you’ll like him enough to read a full novel about him is quite subjective. Personally, I thought the neighbours were more memorable because they were a set of characters that I haven’t seen much of in science fiction. I’d be interested in reading a novel with them as the main characters, especially the young boy.

I recommend Good Fences for anyone interested in a character study and a quick read.

Note: a free review copy was provided by the author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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