Geoff and his friends live in Phocaea, a distant asteroid colony
on the Solar System's frontier. They're your basic high-spirited
young adults, enjoying such pastimes as hacking matter compilers to
produce dancing skeletons that prance through the low-gee communal
areas, using their rocket-bikes to salvage methane ice shrapnel
that flies away when the colony brings in a big (and vital) rock of
the stuff, and figuring out how to avoid the ubiquitous
surveillance motes that are the million eyes of 'Stroiders, a
reality-TV show whose Earthside producers have paid handsomely for
the privilege of spying on every detail of the Phocaeans'
Life isn't as good as it seems, though. A mysterious act of
sabotage kills Geoff's brother Carl and puts the entire colony at
risk. And in short order, we discover that the whole thing may have
been cooked up by the Martian mafia, as a means of executing a coup
and turning Phocaea into a client-state. As if that wasn't bad
enough, there's a rogue AI that was spawned during the industrial
emergency and slipped through the distracted safeguards, and a
giant x-factor in the form of the Viridians, a transhumanist cult
that lives in Phocaea's bowels.
In addition to Geoff, our story revolves around Jane, the
colony's resource manager -- a bureaucrat engineer in charge of
keeping the plumbing running on an artificial island of humanity
poised on the knife-edge of hard vacuum and unforgiving space.
She's more than a century old, and good at her job, but she is torn
between the technical demands of the colony and the political
realities of her situation, in which the fishbowl effect of
'Stroiders is compounded by a reputation economy that turns every
person into a beauty contest competitor. Her manoeuverings to keep
politics and engineering in harmony are the heart of the
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without
Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Tor Books/ Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
|Country of origin:
M. J. Locke
||Electronic book text
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