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The future is boring. Technology has solved the world's most pressing problems, leaving people with tedious work and mundane play. Jack is a Security Officer Class 5, which sounds important, but isn't. However, her banal life as a cubicle worker by day and tinkerer by night is interrupted when she discovers that her employer's computer system has been invaded.

Jack enlists the help of her only friends – her co-worker, Gilles and Adrian, an online friend she's never met – to help her track down the source of the invasion. Her investigation leads her to a shadowy group called the Red, where Jack learns that not everyone lives a life of quiet servitude.

Even though she believes that the Red are responsible for a series of gruesome attacks, Jack begins to become attracted to their worldview. In her search for the people responsible for the attacks, she confronts the leaders of the group as well as her own burgeoning sense of self-awareness.

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  • Meet Jack, a Security Officer Class 5 at Bellis Industries. She checks in to work, where she shares a cubicle with the night guy, and they supervise the state of the corporate system. Their counterpart in another branch spots some problems, but it's all in a day's work.

  • Jack comes upon another firm's security goons hassling a guy on the street. She buys some military grade electronics from a street vendor, and spends the evening chatting with their tutorial program. Meanwhile, someone is having trouble remembering things.

  • Jack dodges her annoying co-worker, Tony, then discovers that the problems in the Eastern system are getting worse. She oversteps her bounds, then heads home to spend the evening hacking her microrecorders.

  • Jack and Gilles hatch an only slightly illegal plan to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Eastern system.

  • Jack and Gilles do damage control after their escapade, then Jack hides her activities from her friends, Adrian. Meanwhile, someone tries to do something about the memory problems.

  • Jack has a disturbing experience while using her microrecorders. Later, she starts to piece together some common elements to the strange goings on she's been noticing.

  • Jack is led to the case of Estella Rowan, a missing prostitute, and she spends a harrowing time trying to track down what happened to the woman. Meanwhile, someone doesn't get very far in correcting the memory problems.

  • Jack fears that something sinister may have happened to Estella Rowan, and through her online investigations, learns of a group called The Red. Against her better judgment, she packs for an impromptu trip out of town.

  • Jack rides the train north, debating the value of her endeavours. She further doubts the wisdom of the trip when she finds herself completely blocked from the ubiquitous network, everywherenet.

  • Jack meets a branch of The Red, and they try to seduce her with talk of art and philosophy. However, Jack is busy being seduced in the more usual manner by another guest at the party.

  • Jack learns more about The Red and its leadership, and manages to wrangle an invitation to their headquarters. Meanwhile, someone suffers an episode which will not be remembered later.

  • Jack returns home and tries to return to normal life, but she is obsessed by her theories and questions about The Red.

  • Jack contemplates her life in light of the philosophies of TheRed. Then, she is forced to investigate what she hopes is simply an elaborate prank at work, and finds more than she bargained for.

  • Jack finds a clue which seems to indicate that she's been pointed in the right direction. She breaks into a source of information about The Red. Then trouble gets a bit too close to home.

  • Jack realizes that the attacks are more rampant than they had first seemed. She decides to take a trip into the heart of the group she is sure is responsible.

  • Jack infiltrates the headquarters of The Red.

  • Jack assimilates into the culture at The Red's headquarters. She meets people who she hopes will help her answer some of her questions. Meanwhile, someone's memory problems are getting so bad that drastic steps may have to be taken.

  • Jack hatches a plan to gain access to confidential information about The Red. Later, she comes face to face with the person she believes is behind the attacks.

  • Jack realizes that not everyone in The Red share the same ideas, and she finds herself becoming attracted to some of their views. Attracted, as well, to the people who hold them.

  • Jack finally finds what she is looking for, and confronts those responsible. Meanwhile, someone takes drastic steps to end the memory lapses and painful blackouts.

  • Jack learns the terrible truth behind the attacks. But, as she tries to come to grips with what she knows, she discovers that knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

  • Jack weighs her options as she realizes the full impact of her newly acquired knowledge. Meanwhile, someone finds that fighting the inevitable is a losing battle.

  • Epilogue

I loved your world building. Could really feel like I was in Jack's shoes. It was great that she could afford to eat real food once a week. Made me feel happy for her. I did not see the end coming the way you did it. Great story.
I enjoyed the story! I wish that there could be a follow up. Derusha, your story got me through a rough couple weeks where I felt overwhelmed. I looked forward to each break, so I could listen. Thank you!
Good book. A little too similar to the dexter books.
Just finished listening to this book. Overall I really like the writing and narration. The ending felt a little abrupt but OK. Good job of building a world that reminds me a little (not too much) of “True Names” by Vernor Vinge and “Trouble and Her Friends” by Melissa Scott. ...
Hopefully, I'm not giving anything way, but *SPOILER ALERT* just in case. The two final surprise revelations seem incredibly unlikely to me. What are the odds that those, plus the main events, would all occur around Jack? Despite this strain on suspension of disbelief, the story as a whole was ...
***** WARNING: SPOILER ALERT ***** BE careful reading these comments as Ollie felt it necessary to write/complain about the ending of the story. ollie, you may have been disappointed in the ending, but there really is no need to ruin it for everyone else. It seems that a lot of ...
Just finished reading this book from my book reader app on my phone and felt compelled to make a comment somewhere about the book. Thought the first half was brilliantly put together. The ideas about the future were brilliant, and the story was built well around this. Now the bad ...
I have come to Beautiful Red long after its completion, but I think, not too late. Many of the comments made on PodioBooks have been appreciative, and a few not so. I must throw my hand in with the book's supporters. Beautiful Red is a well crafted cyberpunk story involving ...
Loved the story, I couldn't wait to get back to it when interrupted.
To the guy who "could not get to the end of the 2nd episode" -- keep listening. It did start out a bit slow, but I think that was necessary to show the main character's mundane everyday existence before The Plot Thickens. This is one of those books that makes ...

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Logo This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 license.

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