TRANSFERENCE opens with Barrabas Madzimure getting the beating of a lifetime in a windowless interrogation room somewhere on a dystopian planet. Barrabas is days away from being executed for murder and his interrogator wants to know who he is, and who he used to be on Earth. TRANSFERENCE juxtaposes his former life on Earth with his present, where the rule of law is non-existent and brutal torture is routine. The evil organization that runs the planet supplies Earth with a critical resource that Barrabas and his fellow cell-mates extract from the mine where they are enslaved by the organization. Can Barrabas and a crew of his fellow transferred cell-mates escape back to Earth in just a few days?
TRANSFERENCE is science fiction that’s as good as it can be. The narrative unfolds with impeccable timing, showing that we are all prisoners—all slaves to a greater force—no matter our station in life. The life of Barrabas is examined through various perspectives, revealing new facets of his present and former identity with enough subtlety to increase the tension and mystery surrounding the protagonist’s circumstance. It is set off against the life of The Slender Man, his interrogator, who is in a prison of his own. The narrative of Corvus shows that even the upper echelons of authority have to submit to their own tortures. Throughout, we witness the collateral damage done by Barrabas in his attempt to escape his prison, and in his moral resistance to the criminal acts he’s forced to commit we are able to sympathize.
Barrabas tells the story from his point of view, while the perspectives of The Slender Man/Corvus and others are presented, showing how many lives can ultimately fall to one man.The tone of the narrative is exactly what you’d expect from a bunch of space prisoners. There’s plenty of profanity, an undercurrent of sexual enslavement and an up-front discourse on gender identification through the lives of people who are imprisoned to the point they’re trapped even in the bodies that contain their souls.
Author B. T. Keaton creates a science fiction masterwork in TRANSFERENCE that explores human identity and the dignity of the person without unnecessary moralizing.
~Meredith Lindemon for IndieReader