Digging the Golden Fungus: The SwiftPad Insurgency
(The SwiftPad Trilogy, Book 2)
S. Lee Barckmann
Barckwords Publishing (2020)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (04/2021)
“Digging Up New Business: The SwiftPad Takeover” was the first book in this mind-blowing trilogy. Now, readers are given this sequel (with a bit of a prequel that takes us back to the Baby Boomer generation), that will have you hanging on every word. In the first tale, a renegade app called SwiftPad was created by an interesting ‘cast’ of characters. What became a hugely popular application was responsible for bringing this team together that ended up being the epitome of cool and gave readers a satirical picture of the self-love society has for itself.
This time out, we meet a man named Nathan Schuette—a wanna-be entrepreneur in his thirties, he also worked as a teacher of English and is the author of a sensational work of fiction. His backstory is an interesting one involving a trek he took that had him go to China and back, as well as experience a world in the 60’s that had its own indulgences, wars, and battles across cultural lines. However, after moving forward on his journey, the reader quickly sees that the present overshadows the past when it comes to crisis situations.
The original team who are now the founders of SwiftPad, Inc, saw their creation grow to become the number one resource of news for the world. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company is also the prime ‘enemy’ of the one person who holds the “highest office” in America – The President of the United States.
It is 2019, and Nathan finds himself in Portland with his girlfriend, Paula Flayer. (Without giving anything away, let’s just say Paula is absolutely hysterical, likes to flirt, and has the ability to always look like a hot young woman even though she’s in her seventies.) One of Paula’s ex-lovers goes by the name of Ben Cadez; formerly a Nixon operative, Ben also has the uncanny ability to remain young because of a truly powerful ‘substance’. Because of this, Ben is now the Republican candidate for president during the time when a true dictator is running the Oval Office.
The ‘@real-Prez’ is a huge topic of conversation on SwiftPad; people believe by the actions and words they are seeing that the president has been overthrown by their second-in-command: the V.P. who’s now known as ‘@temp-Prez’. With the odd laws that have been enforced, the very liberal Portland, Oregon, is about to become a place for millions to congregate. Add them to Nathan and Paula, throw in Ben and a presidential coup, and round it out with the SwiftPad gang, and you get a world that turns upside-down.
Corruption, conspiracy theories that are even more mysterious than any JFK scenario you can think of—you name it, the unending imagination of this writer knows no bounds. Having this dictatorial government is one thing, but the writer even created a para-military group called (V)ICE, where ‘V’ stands for Vagrancy, that’s sent out to arrest the homeless and send them to camps in the desert.
As a reader who loves the unknown and the twists around every bend, this author has provided that and more, I swear, in each and every chapter. There is one more book to be savored in this incredible trilogy and I, for one, cannot wait to read it! If there’s a better thing that can be said about a book, I know not what that could be.