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In the future we’ll all be superheroes. Do you want to climb buildings like a spider? Shrink to the size of an ant? Talk to a fish? No problem. All you’ll have to do is dial up any modification you desire. It’ll be as easy as downloading an app to your smartphone.

Connor Rix was one of the first modified humans. He was officially sanctioned and government approved. But when the Breakup War split the United States into regional sovereignties, Rix was cut loose. He no longer took orders from the government. He became a free agent and a superhero for hire.

Now a Brazilian mobster is trying to form his own personal modification cartel. He wants to become the exclusive supplier of biological raw materials. And to do so, he has declared war on a Massive Dynamic-like corporation based in New Mexico. To the rescue comes Rix and his team of super modified heroes.

The author is a middling futurist who predicts a new dawn for mankind. Biological alterations, he writes, has “the truly awesome potential to vanquish humanity’s ancient weaknesses, to uplift humanity for the better.”

But what happens when everyone becomes a superhuman? Undoubtedly some of these superheroes will become supervillains. Connor Rix turned out to be one of the good guys. But you don’t want every bully on the block to morph into an eight-foot rampaging hulk.

And that’s why Rix and his crew must stop Vinicius Cunha and his Brazilian musclemen. Cunha is a particularly vicious bastard. Six-foot-six, thick as a brick and impervious to bullets, he is rigged with every physical modification available. The mobster was a leader in the primitive sense of the word, an alpha male in a pack of wild animals. If Cunha wins the war of biological modification, mankind’s bright future will be forever tarnished.

Before Rix and Cunha put on their boxing gloves, Rules of Force debates the moral, political, and financial implications of continued human alterations. The author peppers his narrative with pros and cons of the issue, and we have no doubt he will continue to do so in upcoming sequels. Rix, of course, is an indefatigable advocate for continued modification research. He wants to live in a world where modifications take mankind to the next level. “People will be stronger, faster, they’ll live longer and be able to achieve things that earlier humans could never have achieved,” he says. “I want to see those days come to pass.”

[Rules of Force / By Steve Statham / First Printing: November 2011 / ISBN: 9781467935142]

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