The Punch Escrow is a Hard Sci-fi novel that takes place in the year 2147 when teleportation is a common means of transportation and totally, definitely safe! Don't even worry about it.
Written by Tal M. Klein, The Punch Escrow is his very first novel as well as the first novel under Geek and Sundry. As a nerd, as well as a Geek And Sundry fan, I was very pleasantly surprised to hear it was under their stamp and that they were doing books now. This one in particular was a great first choice and I can see why it won it's Ink Shares contest.
The Punch Escrow made me question who I was and what makes me the person that I think I am. Is it your physical body that makes you you or is it the combination of your brain, your memories and your experiences? I think the question of whether or not your body or your brain makes you who you are is an important question in today's political climate and one I didn't have a hard time answering for myself.
Tal does a phenomenal job at building this future earth in a way that seems accurate and entirely plausible. There's a lot of scientific jargon and theories, but it's broken down for you with simple explanations in these cool footnotes, which is a neat idea I hadn't seen before. There's a number of them throughout the book and, while I enjoyed most, I found a number of times that I'd stop, read them, get taken out of the story a bit, jump back in, and the story would just explain it again but in fewer words. I liked them over all, but some felt redundant.
The story for me drew a lot of comparisons to Blake Crouch's Dark Matter which I'm sure gets tossed around a lot. This isn't a complaint, but rather something to note. Fans of Dark Matter will thoroughly enjoy this book. While The Punch Escrow deals with teleportation doppelgangers instead of parallel earths, there's definitely some interesting crossover in ideas.
Overall I thought this story was super fun, extremely well researched and I enjoyed the bit at the end where we got to hear from the physicist who helped create this future earth. Definitely a book I recommend checking out.