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    Review of SUPERLUMINAL by Tony Daniel (see his website)

    Eos, May 2004

    A thousand years from now, humanity has spread through the solar system--and mankind is no longer alive. Artificial intelligences have grown so complex that they have taken on life--become 'free converts.' And 'physical' humans themselves have uploaded themselves into the omnipresent nanotechnology/communications net. War has broken out between the inner (Mercury/Venus/Earth/Mars) systems and the interconnected 'Met' and the outer systems with the inner systems, under director Ames, attempting to eliminate human rights for the free converts and to bring everyone under centralized control. The outer systems are outnumbered, outgunned, and faced with stupid generals, but they have powerful weapons of their own and fight back hard.

    Author Tony Daniel examines the lives of a number of people living in both the Met and in the outer systems, exploring the developing war through their eyes and virtual eyes. A young woman develops an affair with a nine-hundred year-old jeep, a rock-balancing monk re-falls in love, a punk-kid is adicted to 'glory' and a free-convert military leader tries to hold off the overwhelming force of the inner systems' attack.

    Daniel does a fine job balancing the lives of different 'people' with the need to move the story along. His powerful world-building provides a strong structure on which to hang the story and it works. SUPERLUMINAL is a big book (and part of a series) but it didn't take long for me to get hooked into it--reading until my wife had to beg me to turn the light off so she could sleep. The combination of first-class world-building, intriguing characters, and innovative military action adds up to one of the best Science Fiction titles I've read in years.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 6/01/04

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