Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Book: Trade by Lochlan Bloom

Imagine a world where sex is controlled by an app. Trade follows the creation of an app called Xchange and the ideas behind it. It also follows the main characters sexual awakening leading up to it and the degeneration of his relationship as a consequence of the app. The premise of the app is simple, to judge sexual compatibility. There is also a credit system that you can earn and spend based on the content that you post and view.

It is worth noting that though this book is about sex, and so not suitable for a young audience, it isn't what I would describe as overly pornographic, or even erotic.

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon

Putting this book, novella, or whatever you want to call it, into a genre would be very difficult. It isn't erotica, it isn't even really dystopian, and though I have classified it as speculative fiction, really it doesn't quite fit that either. After all there is already a facebook plugin which allows you to become connected with people on your friendslist that are interested in having sex with you.

The idea of the app brings together the concepts of online porn, skype or phone sex, dating, porn sites and any other form of sexual interaction, and monetises it. The scariest thing about the concept that Bloom has come up with is that it is so plausible, we have apps for almost anything now, so how long is it truly until we have an app for this too?

I actually found the story to be an enjoyable read, especially as I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. The characters seemed like real people, and the main character in particular seemed to have real reservations about certain situations that he finds himself in, as I imagine anyone would. I thought that it was really interesting to find out the story behind an app that takes over the world, quite often they just do with no backstory.

It was a very easy book to read, there was nothing there to make me particularly uncomfortable (though if you don't like reading about sex then don't read!) and the language wasn't technical or complicated, yet the story still seemed to have enough depth to it to keep it going. I would say that this is a good, quick read, based on an interesting and quite scary idea of what the future may hold!!!