Thoughts sent to the government in a Dystopian society... The Shadowsurfers by Hubert Wiest (Excerpt & Giveaway)

The ShadowsurfersThe Shadowsurfers
by Hubert Wiest
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 426 Pages
March 15th 2016


CHA belongs to all humans. All humans are CHA. Set in a dystopian future where technology and humanity have united to create society’s collective consciousness, Computerized Human Accomplishment, CHA is mankind’s most meaningful invention. Through CHA all of humanity’s thoughts and secrets are recorded and saved for the betterment of society.

Fourteen year old Sansibar is preparing for her final exam to become a part of society – a part of CHA. The only thing standing between her and her the Crystal Exam is a whisper of a memory almost forgotten… and a boy with blue-ink eyes named Luan.

Luan is a gifted programmer living as an orphan until a petty theft drives him from his only home. Without a place in society, Luan escapes to the forbidden city of shadows to live as a fugitive… with the help of a girl with purple hair named Sansibar. Together they find they’re not the only ones with secrets.

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Sansibar snapped the clasps of her shoes shut and threw her bag over her shoulder. In front of the mirror she tugged at a few strands of purple hair that stood out among her smooth, hazelnut-brown hair. Fastidiously she made sure that her hair covered her left earlobe. Sansibar didn’t like it, when people saw her earlobe, because it had that strange little notch. When she was little, she had had an accident. She couldn’t remember it now, but Dad had told her about it. As she was playing, her earring had got caught on a screw of a jungle gym. She hadn’t noticed it and had jumped down into the sand. Her earring been torn out of her ear. It would have hurt a lot, and maybe that was the reason why she could no longer remember it. She still wore the other golden earring in her right ear.
Sansibar stroked over the screen that curled around her wrist like a wide bracelet. A twaddleBand. Not exactly the newest model, but more than sufficient to be used as a communicator.
“Dad, Marella and I are going to the Lunapark. She’s taking me with her on her new scooter,” Sansibar typed; she knew her father wouldn’t mind. Her father never forbade her anything. He could trust her not to get up to any mischief. She was far too sensible for that.
A man with grey-streaked locks appeared on the screen. He had forced his stubborn hair into an orderly style with gel. A dark red crystal shimmered on his black headband. Corrado Arbani smiled at Sansibar through his horn-rimmed glasses: “Have fun, sweetheart. Please remember to be home by 10pm, even though it is a Friday night. And send me a couple of pictures of the Lunapark. You know I met your mother there.”
“Sure, I will,” Sansibar said. She thought of her mother. She only had one memory of her: Mum in an orange T-shirt. A large purple flower printed on it. That was ten years ago, at night.
“It’s going to be a late night for me. I still have a mountain of files on my desk,” Mr. Arbani said.” The application for the insurance of the administration agreement needs to be taken care of today. Actually, it’s a really interesting case: an agreement on a regional level that is made without any insurance...”
Sansibar swallowed. Once Dad got started with telling a story there was no way of stopping him. He was the dearest dad in the world, but he was quite a chatterbox.
A picture of a blond boy started to blink on Sansibar’s twaddleBand and tried to push Sansibar’s father away to the side. In doing so it changed its shape like a rubber ball hitting the floor.
“Got to go, dad, Mika’s calling.”
Sansibar swiped over the screen. Her father’s picture faded away.
“Can you get some caramel sticks for me at the Lunapark please?”
“Yeah, sure, Mika”
“Some for me too, please. Love, Hannah,” a line of text appeared on Mika’s picture. The video of a girl wearing a helmet pushed its way into the foreground: “Are you coming down, Sansibar? I’ve been waiting in front of your house for ages.”
“Hi Marella, I’ll be right down.”
Sansibar opened the apartment’s door and walked out into the snow-white hallway. It smelled as though it had been freshly cleaned, like chewing gum. Sansibar thought of the past. Mum had used the same detergent. I love chewing gum-scent, she typed on her screen. A few friends sent a thumbs-up.
Sansibar rode the glass lift capsule to the ground floor. The doors hissed open and Marella stood right in front of her with her new scooter. It was hovering a hand’s breadth above the ground. As if swimming in water, it gently swayed in the air. The body shone in a light coffee-brown. Bright blue flower designs snaked around it. They were glowing. Marella held the upward-swung handlebars casually, as though she had been driving a scooter for years already. Brightly glittering blue tassels hung from the grips.
Marella grinned happily. Her parents had given her the scooter for her Crystal Celebration.
But far more important was the brand-new lacquered headband with a clear crystal. It was perched on her forehead, smack in the middle. Everyone got a crystal like that for their Crystal Celebration. Marella had successfully passed the test. She was now a part of society. Part of CHA. The crystal was still colorless for now, as clear as a window pane. Sansibar knew that the crystal would change its color when Marella helped society. But it would still be months before it would take on the first yellowish shimmer. And by the end of school most people had only achieved a strong lemon-yellow. Barely anyone achieved egg-yolk-yellow or even orange. Orange was the next level. Some adults never achieved anything above lemon-yellow in their whole lives. Dried up lemons, they were called, had done barely anything for society. A piece of granite would have served them just as well. The Protrector sat at the back of the headband, the technical heart. It sent thoughts to CHA. 

About the Author

Hubert Wiest

Hubert Wiest is an author of ten German children's books and YA novels. THE SHADOWSURFERS is his first US release. In addition to giving classroom readings, Hubert also produces audiobooks and the podcast Radio Lomoco together with Nina von Stebut.

Hubert was born in Germany in 1964. He studied at the Bavarian Academy of Advertising and also took courses in business administration. In the 1990s he founded the internet company FREIRAUM Multimedia, leading it through the stormy new economy of the millennium. He has also worked as head of marketing and sales in international companies. Hubert lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, their three children and their dogs Pepsi and Cola.


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