In a presumably late-21st Century/early-22nd Century timeframe, somewhere in the rural South of the United States of America, in a world that is slowly going to hell but in which technology which is now, in the early 21st Century, in its infancy, is commonplace and well advanced from the state in which we know it, Burton, a disabled veteran of a high-tech advanced tactics unit of the U.S. Marine Corps, asks his sister to stand in for him on a job. The job, presumably, is beta-testing an advanced video game, but when Flynne, on her stand-in shift, witnesses a bizarre and disturbingly achieved murder, their familiar, if dysfunctional, world starts to spin out of control. –Gary K. McCormick
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Author(s): Publisher: Berkley
William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times–bestselling Zero History.
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.