A couple weeks ago I finished my latest book, but never got around to writing about it. The book, is the sequel to NeoAddix, which I reviewed previously.
Both books are out of print novels by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. I really enjoy his writing. His mash up of pop culture, cyberpunk, and alternate history is interesting. After reading all four novels, they fit together much better. For example, the protaganist in the first novel is also a key player in the third novel. I read the third novel first and some of the nuances or her role were lost on me. Knowing the backstory makes things clearer and more cohesive.
In the third novel in Grimwood's alternate future. Two stories are told, the founding of New Venice and the subsequent revolution over a hundred years later. A bit confusing until you get the characters under control in your mind, the story drifts from past to present to cyberspace easily.
The author takes a look at the changes to world power as technology advances to the point where anyone, with enough money, can defend themselves against the 'old powers' of the world. The story examines the founding of a new country as a result of the technological shift. The fate of the same country undergoing revolution later as technology shifts yet again is clear warning as to the fate of governments that try to defend against the old enemy and not look at the new ones.
The idea of a data haven is a little tired in the world of cyberpunk, but it suffices as a plot device in this novel. We have data havens today but they appear to be exceedingly dull places. My thoughts tend toward the hot, rogue places being those areas where genetic engineering takes place. When genetic engineering arrives, people are going to want it, regardless of what the law says. Illegality + technology = money + drama.
If you are interested in the cyberpunk genre, you won't be disappointed by these books.Posted by michael at May 09, 2004 03:21 PM