WATERDOWN

Geo Spears thought her legacy would put her above humanity. She had created Fusion A.I., the superintelligence that saved mankind from itself. Poverty, pollution, crime and war—all gone. The solution was simple—people’s minds just had to be whitewashed… watered down.

By 2135, few human wants, wishes, instincts or memories remained. But this was also the year Geo Spears’ longevity treatment failed. She had weeks to live, at most. Cast out by Fusion and faced for the first time with mortality, her past betrayal of family becomes entangled with the present of those she learns to hold dear. Geo is confronted with the true cost of her A.I. creation. And the one remaining path to absolution.

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Brief Note from the Author:

Personally, I view my novel as a non-profit personal startup, since I’ve pledged all royalties to a literacy charity. This work is, apart from necessary editorial input, completely my own, including the cover, formatting, and most importantly, Waterdown’s text itself. As both a young author and a philanthropic entrepreneur, I am intrigued to know your thoughts on this project and am grateful for your support via reviews and donations.


REVIEWS

“A proficient and appealing AI tale from a promising new author.”

Kirkus Reviews



“Dramatic and highly conceptual, this excellent story by author Anastasia Slabucho will appeal to fans of the likes of Isaac Asimov for sure. Blending science fiction with science future and science fact, the bleak narrative style presents an eerie and clinical overview of a human world where A. I. innovation has led to inevitable ruin. The characterization of this world and the people within it is presented with excellent use of descriptive lexis and engaging dialogue, whilst the central presentation of Geo Spears herself is a triumph in building a broken hero. I felt for Geo despite her transgressions and followed her avidly through the campaign on which she rests her future hopes and legacy. Overall, Waterdown is a superb concept in itself, and one which is effectively realized through excellent writing, intelligent character work and a true sense of chilling disaster that stays with you long after reading.”

—Readers’ Favorite



Starred Review

“Anastasia Slabucho’s Waterdown is a dystopian, cyberpunk novel—a cautionary tale about genetic engineering that skillfully explores themes of choice, redemption and absolution… Her writing technique resembles a video game, where what’s happening, rules for the characters, and how they can move forward are revealed at different points… The story’s pace and flow are flawless, and the characters are utterly believable, with imperfections as well as virtues.

In sum, Waterdown holds a near-irresistible appeal to gamers and those interested in stories about AI leading to inevitable ruin and humanity’s efforts to challenge it.”

—BlueInk Review



A thought-provoking sci-fi story that is as engrossing as it’s intriguing…

“…Skillfully blending plot and setting, Slabucho develops her technology-ruled culture in intriguing detail as she movingly captures her human protagonists’ profound emptiness. Shifting between a realistic depiction of a technology-ruled far-future (with the exploration of the moral and political implications of too-advanced technological innovations) and normal humans-ruled Earth (portions of this part are presented as Geo’s old memories of her sister and parents), Slabucho expertly contrasts humanity with technology, callousness with sentimentality, and tyranny with freedom and delves brilliantly into what it means to let artificial intelligence takes over.

Building steadily to a turning-point climax, the ending leaves scope for a follow up installment. Equal part intriguing and unsettling, this reflective tale will please every science fiction fan.”

The Prairies Book Review



“This was a quick, easy-to-read novel that had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t put this novel down, not once. Geo is a strong yet very charismatic character; she is one of those characters that stay with you for a long time. The idea behind Fusion A.I. is original; it is something that is scary because it seems so real. The author has done an amazing job at creating a universe that is at once believable and familiar. I was invested in the story because Geo was such a vibrant and intimidating character. The author explored her full potential, testing Geo until the very last of her strength, and helped her become a character that every reader would be proud of. This novel is a pleasant surprise that I was not expecting at all. Absolutely brilliant!”

—Readers’ Favorite



“Waterdown by Anastasia Slabucho is a well-written book with an intriguing cover that made me wonder about this futuristic world where humans were controlled by an AI. At first, I found the segments of code to be a little distracting as it took me a bit of time to notice the individual prompts within the code that then helped me to understand Fusion. However, once I got the hang of understanding the coding, I found that it offered an additional perspective to the story. I personally found the story itself to not only be enjoyable but also emotionally moving and thought-provoking. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading this book especially with the unpredictable ending, and I really hope the author decides to continue to write in this genre as she clearly has quite the gift for it!”

—Readers’ Favorite

ABOUT ME

I am a high-school student, sci-fi writer, artist and all-out creative based in Prague, Czech Republic.

“Gen-Z is going to change our world for the better” is a much-used media headline, and rest-assured we are all working on making it happen, even if most of us can’t work or vote yet.

For me personally, that translates to offering the world what I can – my writing and activism – to promote a cause I believe in.

Key values of all my work: commitment, care, contribution (to others) and coffee.

My current mission statement: giving all I can to my Room to Read fundraiser, including the proceeds from my self-made novel endeavour, as well as raising awareness concerning global (il)literacy.

Four funky facts about me:

  1. I have a varied cultural background and speak 4 languages. I also have a wishlist of another 2 I would like to learn one day.
  2. I have a notebook with the titles of all the books I have read since 2011. My younger brother has one too and we recently started competing for “Reader of the Year” title.
  3. I collect Starbucks City Mugs (and I obviously enjoy coffee, mostly home-brewed).
  4. My biggest adventure was visiting the US on my own during the 2019 polar vortex. I brought back some wool socks and, needless to say, a local Starbucks’ Mug.

PHILANTHROPY

My Literature for Literacy initiative…

From a young age, I have been an avid reader, eager to explore other writers’ stories and eventually create my own. Being proficient in 3 languages has allowed me to follow my passion and appreciate literature through the lens of different cultures. I speak from the heart when I say that reading has molded my identity and experience, as well as my development as an author. For several years I have been a writer-contributor for our school newspaper, as well as a keen participant in local projects aimed at improving literacy and reading skills. My favourite recent experience would be helping a seven-year-old student improve her reading out loud as part of a school-wide initiative – the pure joy she expressed at being able to progress from thin books with big letters to longer narratives was infectious!

Yet, as I researched literacy further beyond my home country, I was left shocked by how low literacy and education rates are in many corners of the world, even now in the 21st century. Through my effort to fully understand the problem, I found Room to Read – a non-profit committed to solving global illiteracy.

As a young author, I am fully invested in advancing the goal of improving literacy and education in any way I possibly can.

I hence pledge 100% of all first-year proceeds from the sales of my debut novel Waterdown to Room to Read through my fundraising page:

give.roomtoread.org/Slabucho-Literature-for-Literacy


Updates:

I want to take a closer look at the global illiteracy causes, consequences, and solutions through a series of posts on this topic:

The second update is here! Understanding the effects of illiteracy is key to solving this world-wide issue.

Check out my first entry.

A sincere thank you for every contribution to my fundraiser page!
Together, we have already collected $520 for this cause – let’s not stop here!

Fundraiser sum last updated: November 1st 2019


Past posts:

Please feel welcome to read my blog entries about the International Literacy Day, as well as a few more words on global (il)literacy.