I'm giving this three stars because of the subject matter and not the execution of the story. It is a story about three people frozen in 2008 and revived in 2208 and their impressions of the future. Thruout the story they continually have a hard time with all the changes, though there are actually very few. There is a world government, just as dysfunctional as today, and some new technology, not as dysfunctional as today. The main point of the story is that nothing will really change and life will not really get better until human nature changes.
There is a token love interest in the story, and the idea that only love can make the world better. The affair is as chaste as any puritan could want. There is no violence at all, except for some wild animals. The proofreading and grammar is very good, but the narration is pretty amateur and the characters could use more depth.
Perhaps the biggest change in the technology is the PODS, which is very much a Star Trek style transporter, but not advanced enough to transmit anything to a location where there is no receiver device. It is a device that reads a person or thing's matter, converts it to data, and re-creates that person or thing at the receiving end. Besides the main issue with this device, handling of the soul, he has some other silly things going on with it. There is no explanation of what happens to the matter at the transmission end. There is no explanation of how new matter gets to the restoration machine at the receiving end. There is no mention of the fact that once the person or thing is reduced to data, any number of copies could be made. In the case of things being deleted from the data (in this case to remove weapons from luggage) the deleted objects are restored anyway, but in a different place. Now these problems are not unique to this story, the device as used on Star Trek is absolute fantasy, violating the laws of conservation of matter and energy right left and center, as well as having no way to capture and transmit the soul. With that said, primitive forms of this technology are not far off, we already have three-d printers which are a primitive version of the receiving device in this story. The real problems begin when we try that with living things. We need the equivalent of a three-d printer that can produce living things. If one could even print a single bacterium, the remaining problem is one of scaling up until you get to life forms that have a soul.
I applaud the fact that Josh realizes that there can be no improvement in human life as long as human nature does not change. That idea is the central theme of almost every story of mine. It is true that my version of the changes required are those necessary to make the world imagined by the hippies of the 1960's a reality and not necessarily those that would make human life best. We have little to no agreement on what would be best, but quite a bit of agreement that reducing violence and dominance would be a good thing.
(review of free book)