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Lost in the System

Smullian O’Toole, grifter, enjoys serving his prison term. Other than the daily upchucking, Life Modification Therapy is the sweetest sentence 21st century Earth offers. The system biotransposes his essence into a different 21st century person daily, whereas his body stays in the future. The therapy rehabilitates felons by teaching them the value of honest labor. On day 777, he hears a disembodied voice utter, “Father to the Fatherless.” Thus, begins the mother of all system glitches that shatters Life Mod rules and regulations. Instead of following the usual program, the system thrusts Smullian into the case of David Hawthorne, a missing teenaged orphan.

Smullian realizes the glitch shows purpose and design. Someone, maybe the Father to the Fatherless, controls the situation, not the technicians at Life Mod. Each new host forces Smullian to confront his own inner demons—as well as pointing him to David.

What initially seems like the clear-cut case of a runaway—grows more ominous with every clue. Smullian knows he’s not the hero type. But he’s all David has.  

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Advance Praise for Lost in the System

Nancy Jo Wilson has found a way to weave together science fiction, faith, and contemporary society in surprising and page turning ways. I can honestly say I've rarely seen a male protagonist so well-rendered by a female author.

Lost in the System takes us on a delightfully wild ride that shows us ourselves and the unpredictable God who seeks us out. Through the eyes of a 24th century, time-traveling conman, Nancy had me hooked from the very first chapter!

Science fiction is not my go-to genre when choosing a new book: I prefer a good crime mystery. Yet I was intrigued by the summary of Lost in the System. I’m so glad I opted to read it! This story punches in from the first paragraph, introducing the reader to Smullian O’Toole, a young grifter from the twenty- fourth century. He readily admits being guilty, and is comfortable participating in a new method of prisoner rehabilitation. The author skillfully creates a character who is likeable, interesting, irreverent, intelligent and adaptive in his circumstances. The story takes on a deeper edge when a “glitch” in this future-based system creates a multifaceted mystery. There are no dull moments in this fiction. Most amazing for me was that embedded in this well-written, sci-fi mystery are thoughts and truths about faith, strength, hope and love that have kept me thinking long after the last page was turned.

Lost in the System is an entertaining, insightful, and fast-paced time-travel book with a twist. Author Nancy Wilson weaves a unique and fascinating story around Smullian O'Toole, a likable "grifter" who has landed in trouble with 24th-century legal authorities. Smully's time-traveling adventures are sometimes hilarious and often poignant as he barrels toward a surprising and powerful resolution. Well done!