Това е илюстрован роман, чието действие се развива в съвсем близко бъдеще. В един променящ се свят, където истината е много по-различна от показваното в новините, група приятели се опитват да запазят себе си и близките си. С помощта на наставник и един невероятен медикамент те минават отвъд пределите на възможностите си и се впускат в една война, която обикновенните хора дори не знаят, че е започнала. Историята е в стил дабъл екшън, тъй като тя се развива в нашия свят и в този отвъд него.
Цветните илюстрации са дело на художнничката Мелина-Елина Бондокова.
Comments/Suggestions for Adaptation:
OUTNESS is an exciting and dramatic story. It takes place in a world of advanced technology and artificial intelligence, but the narrative also explores very human concepts and desires.
The science and high-tech aspects of the story are explained well. At the beginning of the book, the nature of artificial intelligence is outlined succinctly, in a way that a layman can understand. The nature and effects of Outin are also well defined. Outness is purposefully painted as surreal and no one has ever experienced in real life, but the author’s comprehensive and vivid descriptions make it easy for the reader to picture what it may be like. The science is presented as a significant backdrop to the story. It is essential to various parts of the narrative, but it never overshadows the course of the plot or the characters. When dealing with complex ideas, there is a danger that they may become the sole focus of the story to the detriment of the plot as a whole. However, that is not the case in OUTNESS.
Some of the more human elements are equally interesting, particularly those on a more macro level. Even though OUTNESS occurs in the future, the reader is still shown the most basic human instincts and emotions: jealousy is portrayed in the relationship between Abu Sharaf and his son, Azis; corporate greed is shown in the desperate attempts by the Russian and Bulgarian governments to increase production of Outin and expand into the world market; pure hunger for power is exemplified in the conflict between the Russians and the Chinese for control of the moon. Although they occur in a futuristic, or at least unrecognizable time, these inherent human characteristics enable the story to remain accessible and credible.
The narrative’s structure is episodic. Numerous individual events take place in numerous locations and could sustain a television series. In addition, the story’s conclusion is open-ended, which allows the plot to evolve for several seasons. However, the structure would still need to a storyline that would tie the narrative together as a whole.
Sometimes it’s difficult to follow the story because the various episodes are not always fully introduced. The time in which the events take place is never fully confirmed, and it’s some time before the reader is aware that the action initially takes place in Bulgaria. Furthermore, when the Man is first sent to Iraq and Dickpecker and Elitsa conduct their military service, Tommy and Andrea’s roles are not totally explained. Later it becomes clear that they are involved in Star town, but there are times when their presence is guessed at by the reader, rather than known. In addition, the author doesn’t fully explain how and why Fatima is in a position to arrive on the moon at the end of the book. She appears alongside Admiral Gorbunov, but the reader isn’t sure how she got there.
Additionally, some of the events that initially appear to be the driving points of the narrative suddenly become superfluous. Tommy and Dickpecker are first recruited by the Man to maintain his artificial brain. The first task is soon put aside when they decide to locate microchips in the Man’s brain, this task is then put aside when they are ordered to go to Iraq; then the missions aren’t mentioned again. There needs to be a justification for the two boys being involved in the main plot, but these introductions should tie into the narrative more smoothly.
In order to sustain a television series, there are problems with the protagonist that need to be rectified. Although he remains unnamed, the Man is the clear protagonist in the first section of the story. He narrates the action, is at the forefront of most of the action and is clearly the focal point around which the story develops. About halfway through the story he dies – or at least reaches a stage of No Recovery – and the narrative loses its main focal point. There are numerous threads that run throughout the story, and they all work well individually (such as Abu Sharaf in Iraq, General Tao Ho in China and the young kids in Star Town), but when the Man is suddenly gone no one appears to fill the hole he leaves behind. For a brief moment it appears that Dickpecker will fulfill the role of protagonist but he dies. Again, there are strong threads running concurrently, and they work well. However, the second half of the story lacks a character that ties it together in a cohesive way.
In order for the story to remain accessible and relatable, some of the human relationships need to be enhanced. The human aspects are dealt with well on a macro level, but more could be done in terms of specific relationships. When Elitsa and Andrea are first introduced, they are painted mainly as the love interests of Dickpecker and Tommy. They are more than just love interests, they are also important characters. However, their burgeoning relationships with the boys create a compelling dynamic as the four of them begin to undertake more dangerous missions. As the story unfolds, the relationships between them and the boys are rarely mentioned and they become four individual characters. Maintaining the romantic dynamic would make for more dramatic incidents as the story progresses and could make the characters seem more real.
OUTNESS contains an original and inventive journey, as well as many fascinating aspects. The narrative has a constant source of intrigue, whether it be the creation of futuristic drugs and artificial intelligence, or the power struggle between two great nations. The story needs to be tied together in a more cohesive fashion. In addition, a protagonist needs to be identified for the second half of the narrative and the human relationships need to be developed. If these areas are addressed, OUTNESS could potentially work well as a television series.