Clancy, Tom – Debt of Honor (1994 HB)

Clancy, Tom - Debt of Honor (1994 HB)

Debt of Honor
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994
766 pages
Jacket design and illustration by Lawrence Ratzkin

From the dust jacket:
Every novel by Tom Clancy has been "a jaw-tightener and a nail-biter of the first order," as the San Diego Union described Without Remorse. But Debt of Honor surpasses them all, with Jack Ryan facing his greatest challenge – against a peril that may become all too real.

In retrospect, it would seem an odd way to start a war…

The end of history. The new world order. Fine phrases, but as Jack Ryan is about to discover, history isn’t dead yet – and only the nature of the threat is new.

On the Pacific island of Saipan, a wealthy Japanese businessman regards his new-bought land with satisfaction. In the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka, a foreign navy begins a series of highly unusual exercises. At the headquarters of America’s major stock-clearing corporation, an engineer brings a customized computer program on-line for the first time, and smiles at his own private joke. Three seemingly unrelated incidents, but all just the first links in a chain of events that will stun the world.

Called out of retirement to serve as the new President’s National Security Advisor, Jack Ryan quickly realizes that the problems of peace are fully as complex as those of war. Enemies have become friends, friends enemies, and even the form of conflict has changed. What he cannot realize, however, is just how close the next conflict is. And when one of those new enemies readies a strike not only at America’s territory, but at the heart of her economy, it is Ryan, with the help of CIA officers John Clark and Domingo Chavez, who must prepare an untested President to meet the challenge, if Ryan can only figure out how. For there is a debt of honor to be paid – and the price will be terrifyingly high…

Debt of Honor is Tom Clancy’s most timely and gripping novel yet. Filled with the exceptional realism and intricate plotting that are his hallmarks, it attests to the words of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "This man can tell a story."

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Posted by sdobie on 2011-03-15 14:01:55

Tagged: , books , covers , 1994 , clancy , debt , honor , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , 1250views , @export , 1500views , 1750views , 2000views , 2500views , 3000views , 4000views

Egan, Greg – Crystal Nights (2009 HB)

Egan, Greg - Crystal Nights (2009 HB)

Crystal Nights
Subterranean Press, 2009
310 pages
Cover art by Steve Montiglio
Dust Jacket Design by Desert Isle Designs, LLC

From the Dust jacket:
The nine stories in Greg Egan’s new collection range from parables of contemporary human conflict and ambition to far-future tales of our immortal descendants.

In "Lost Continent," a time traveler seeking refuge from a war-torn land faces hostility and bureaucratic incompetence. "Crystal Nights" portrays a driven man’s moral compromises as he chases an elusive technological breakthrough, while in "Steve Fever" the technology itself falls victim to its own hype.

"TAP" brings us a new kind of peotry, where a word is more powerful than a thousand images. "Singleton" shows us a new kind of child, born of human DNA modeled in a quantum computer – who, in "Oracle," journeys to a parallel world to repay a debt to an intellectual ancestor.

"Induction" chronicles the methods and motives behind humanity’s first steps to the stars. "Border Guards" reflects on the painful history of a tranquil utopia. And in the final story, "Hot Rock," two immortal citizens of the galaxy-spanning Amalgam find that an obscure, sunless world conceals mind-spinning technological marvels, bitter factional struggles, and a many-layered secret history.

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Posted by sdobie on 2010-08-20 14:02:52

Tagged: , books , covers , crystal , nights , 2009 , egan , montiglio , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , @export , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , 1250views

Stross, Charles – Halting State (2007 BCE HB)

Stross, Charles - Halting State (2007 BCE HB)

Ace Books
Cover Art by Stephanie Toulouse

From the dust jacket:
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com start-up company that’s just floated onto the London stock exchange. But this crime may be a bit beyond Smith’s expertise.

The prime suspects are a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow for fire support. The bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and the robbery was supposed to be impossible. When word gets out, Hayek Associates and all their virtual "economies" are going to crash hard.

For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But the deeper she digs, the bigger the case gets. There are powerful players – both real and pixilated – who are watching her every move. Because there is far more at stake than just some game-head’s fantasy financial security…

Acquired: 2008-05-14
Started: 2008-09-29
Finished: 2008-11-10

In 2018, a bank robbery takes place in a bank in an online gaming world. The breach in security threatens the financial standing of the company running the game, so the police and the company’s insurer come to investigate. The entire book is written in second person from the viewpoints of Sue Smith, the detective; Elaine Barnaby, the insurance investigator, and Jack Reed, a game developer hired as a consultant by Elaine’s company. They soon discover that the robbery has bigger implications than just the gaming world.

Initially, the most noticeable thing about the book is the second person viewpoint which is a little strange but makes sense given the gaming emphasis of the story, and I did not find it a distraction from reading the book. The story moved at a brisk pace, with enough suspense and action to keep me interested the whole time I was reading it. There is a lot of technical jargon in the book, which I did not mind, but which could be offputting to people without a computer background. The only thing I didn’t find all that convincing or interesting was Jack’s continuous angst about his personal life, which lead to an underwhelming revelation at the end. Still, this is a very good near future thriller.

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Posted by sdobie on 2008-05-21 12:59:07

Tagged: , books , 2007 , covers , stross , halting , state , toulouse , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , @export , 1250views

Stephenson, Neal – Reamde (2011 HB)

Stephenson, Neal - Reamde (2011 HB)

William Morrow, 2011
1044 pages
Jacket design by James Iacobelli

From the dust jacket:

Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow Crash, The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U. S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe – and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story – an entertaining and epic page turner from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.

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Posted by sdobie on 2011-11-05 21:45:29

Tagged: , 2011 , books , covers , reamde , stephenson , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , @export , 900views , 1 , 1000views , 1250views , 1500views , 1750views , 2000views

McDevitt, Jack – Cryptic (2009 HB)

McDevitt, Jack - Cryptic (2009 HB)

Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt
Subterranean Press, 2009
590 pages
Dust Jacket Illustration: Lee Moyer
Dust Jacket Design: Desert Isle Design, LLC

From the dust jacket:
Jack McDevitt loves a good mystery. And he enjoys baffling his readers with enigmas like why, after so many years of listening with no results, would a SETI director hear an artificial signal and keep it quiet? Why might and astronomer at a space station, facing imminent death from a solar radiation blast, send off a frantic message that he had discovered a Clyde Tombaugh Special? Tombaugh, of course, was the discoverer of Pluto.

What really happened to Christopher Sim, the George Washington of the war against the Ashiyyur? Why did a beloved artist at the top of his profession, with everything to live for, kill himself? Why did a brilliant young biologist who discovered how life got started on Earth, neglect to tell anyone?

And there are of course other anomolies to be encountered in McDevitt’s work: A computer threatens the literary world, while a time traveler worries the churches. One artificial intelligence runs for president, and another claims to be a Catholic and demands access to the sacraments. Two friends discover that whenever they get together, shuttles crash, wars break out, or tidal waves hammer a coastline.

A researcher watches endless fighting on another world and finally rebels against the Acadamy’s hands-off doctrine. Meantime, a crewman stranded light-years from Earth, entertains himself by intercepting radio broadcasts from home, originally transmitted during World War II.

Among other questions these tales will answer: What might happen when people in a research lab literally try to play God? Why don’t you ever, ever, want to turn out the lights at Bolton’s Tower in the Dakotas? Why someone might want to blow up a star? And why it would be a really good idea if Hatch kept his hands off the mallet? These and twenty-three other cosmic rides, await the reader.

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Posted by sdobie on 2009-03-28 22:15:37

Tagged: , books , covers , moyer , mcdevitt , 2009 , cryptic , subterranean , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , 1250views , 1500views , 1750views , 2000views

Cherryh, C. J. – Cyteen (1988 BCE HB)

Cherryh, C. J. - Cyteen (1988 BCE HB)

Warner Books/SFBC, 1988
853 pages
Cover art by Don Maitz
Jacket Design by Don Puckey

From the dust jacket:
The innermost nature of the human mind and heart becomes to key to an epic struggle for power…and a riveting story of politics and passions, manipulation and love, destiny and individual courage. Set in the universe of the Hugo Award-winning Downbelow Station, S. F. master C. J. Cherryh again brings us a wonderfully detailed world…and her most challenging and mature work to date.

CYTEEN is the story of Ariane Emory: brilliant, corrupt, a genius in genetics, psychology, rape, and blackmail. She dominates the Council of Nine, as head of the expansionist party of the Multiworld Union, and is despot of the territory Resune, where her laboratories create the one product essential to Cyteen: people. They are the "azi," human workers and soldiers artificially grown, computer trained, and owned by Resune, and hence Ariane Emory. After one hundred and twenty years of life and fifty years of rule, Emory is murdered. But not for long…

CYTEEN is the story of the Project: the plan to replicate Ariane Emory. Creating a genetic double is routine for Resune’s bio-technology, but nature is not nurture, and clones are still human beings. For the Project to succeed, Emory’s followers have to subject the clone to every formative influence of the tyrant’s life, keep her innocent of history, protect her from Emory’s enemies, and oppress or silence anyone who might, even accidentally, disrupt the program.

CYTEEN is also the story of Ari: a little girl driven to solve a mystery she can sense, but not define. A child thrown into a storm of global upheaval when her creation is made public, she inherits a stranger’s face and past, enemies and victims. She must wield her predecessor’s power to save herself, even from people she loves. And to survice, she must find out if she’s a puppet crafted by a dead megalomaniac – or the one person who can defuse a socio-genetic time bomb threatening to destroy her planet. For only Ariane Emory can save Cyteen…

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Posted by sdobie on 2009-12-30 17:48:35

Tagged: , books , 1998 , union , covers , cherryh , cyteen , maitz , alliance , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , @export , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , 1250views , 1500views