Rated 4.75/5 based on 4 reviews
Like millions of others, Roger Birch's family depend on ad-viewing income for their survival. Unlike millions of others, the events of one evening leave Roger aware of the government's real reason for investing in Funscreen. With HD cameras hidden behind a 60-inch glass veil, the answer was staring him in the face all along. Every family has a Funscreen. The question is... who's watching who? More
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Alysa H reviewed on on March 22, 2014

A few years ago I saw a lecture online in which some big-time technology professional envisioned a [chilling, to me] future in which things like e-book reading or targeted advertising might allow viewers to earn points towards purchases. I don't know whether Craig A. Falconer has ever come across that same lecture, but this excellent short story basically expands upon a similar idea. Falconer crams a hell of a lot of big ideas into a deceptively simple tale, with surprisingly realistic characters.

My only real quibble is that there are a few bits of unconscious sexism. I'm not bothered that the Funscreen targets consumers in gendered ways -- that can be read as an on-point critique of how our own real-world advertising does the same -- but I am bothered about wives being depicted as naggers, in general. A quick rethink of that aspect, and this would have been a 5-star read.
(review of free book)
MoratGurgeh reviewed on on Nov. 16, 2013

I agree with ilexx011 below. Creepily plausible and reminiscent of some of the Grand Masters.
(review of free book)
J.M. Hardin reviewed on on Sep. 18, 2013

A look at a world that has privatized welfare and allows people to augment their income with a Funscreen. Think of it as a cross between cable television, the ability to recognize the viewer’s actions like anXbox Kinect, and the extremely targeted ads that are all over the web. But there’s more to it, and it’s not all a happy home. If you end up liking Funscreen you may want to check out the author’s “Sycamore,” and an excerpt is included at te end of this ebook.
(review of free book)
ilexx 011 reviewed on on Sep. 14, 2013

Absolutely loved this. Mix Bradbury, Heinlein, and a dash of Vonnegut and you get this short story which never stumbles in its narrative, characterization, or story arc. There are no superfluous words here. Will be keeping this on my Kindle and looking forward to reading the author's other works.
(review of free book)
Colleen Plemmons reviewed on on Sep. 2, 2013
(no rating)
I found this to be a well written short story that scared me as to how accurate it might become. Roger's struggle to come up with the funscreen credits to be in the big quiz resonates with how I anxiously try to accrue enough harvests to create a part. And it is all made up, it isn't real, but the stress and anxiety and pleasure are. Mr. Falconer could be the next Robert Heinlein.
(review of free book)

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