The Die-Fi Experiment
M.R. Tapia
Hindered Souls Press
July 6, 2017
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

I’m going to start this review by warning those folks who might be offended by graphic violence that this is not a book for them. But, if you are a fan of modern horror this should be right up your dark alley. Last chance to bail…

Sticking around? Well good for you! I have something important to tell you about the author of this terrifying freak out. M.R Tapia is a really good guy! He’s friendly, warm-hearted, and cares about his fellow humans on this earth. So when Mexico and Puerto Rico suffered devastation by nature’s forces, he stepped up to the plate. The proceeds from September sales at Hindered Souls Press were donated to the victims of those tragic events. Pretty damn awesome!

Now we must forget all that, because we are going inside the mind of a writer. It’s really dark in here, but it’s even worse for the victims of The Die-Fi Experiment. We are with our narrator immediately and he’s in a bad way. He’s secured to a chair, gagged, bound, and missing most of his tongue. In front of him, he watches small screens that show him a variety of horrors being inflicted on the other miserable captives in this hellish prison. They are awful, but even worse is how many people are following the situation on social media and loving every minute of it. In fact they’re paying to watch people be mutilated.

The Die-Fi Experiment is both a very scary story and social commentary by the author regarding how social media has dehumanized the world. A lot of the things he says are true. We are rarely without our precious smart phones, tablets, and computers. There have been studies done to show that some people suffer withdrawal symptoms, similar to those of drug addicts, if they are deprived of their phones. Most people would rather text or e-mail than make an actual phone call. There have been instances of people suffering injuries from overuse of their devices. Yet, with all these devices opening multiple ways to communicate, we’re less connected than we ever were. Life has just become one big TV show and our perception of reality is badly distorted.

In fact, the narrator and his lovely young wife become part of the torture show because they want to win a brand new I-phone. What starts out as a game turns into a serious fight for their lives against other “contestants” who just wanted a bright new phone to play with. What happens to these people is terrifying and Tapia describes what they suffer through in graphic detail. Meanwhile the likes, emoticons, and tips just keep pouring in. There is no attempt to rescue them because to the watchers, they’re just characters and therefore not “real.”

There is no happy ending to this novella, but it makes a bold statement. Fans of Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling will appreciate this book. I do recommend it to brave readers and I think it has a lot to tell the world. Especially for those of us living in a country where the president can’t stop tweeting. On a more human note, books bought directly from M.R. Tapia will be signed by the real author himself.