“The Death of David Pickett” by G.A. Matiasz is an action-packed speculative mystery set in the San Francisco of 2023. Part-time archivist and full-time scenester Jesse Steinfeld pays little attention to the ever-widening gap between the gated rich and homeless poor in his city. But Jesse is intrigued by the enigmatic death of charismatic local activist David Pickett and obsessively investigates Pickett’s suspicious demise as urban tensions mount. Incidents of high tech surveillance hooliganism, youthful black clad anti-cop rioting, vengeful premeditated murder, and deadly police assaults on local gang members escalate. A popular protest demonstration occupies San Francisco’s Mission District in the name of a revolutionary “Mission Commune,” bringing the city to the brink of social insurrection. As Jesse also contends with an alcoholic ex-girlfriend, sketchy friends with dubious motives, a befuddled gray hat hacker, and a police detective intent on charging Jesse with homicide, he quickly realizes nothing is as it seems in Pickett’s cryptic life and mysterious death. The full-throttle street politics of today collide with tomorrow’s slow-motion apocalypse in this explosive tale of identity, mortality, technology, and reality in the city by the bay. “The Death of David Pickett” is a prequel to the near-future science fiction thriller “1% Free” set in 2042, also by G.A. Matiasz.