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Infoquake (Jump 225 Trilogy Series #1)

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Overview

How far should you go to make a profit?

Infoquake, the debut novel by David Louis Edelman, takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. It's a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches.

Natch is a master of bio/logics, the programming of the human body. He's clawed and scraped his way to the top of the bio/logics market ...

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Infoquake (Volume I of the Jump 225 Trilogy)

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Overview

How far should you go to make a profit?

Infoquake, the debut novel by David Louis Edelman, takes speculative fiction into alien territory: the corporate boardroom of the far future. It's a stunning trip through the trenches of a technological war fought with product demos, press releases, and sales pitches.

Natch is a master of bio/logics, the programming of the human body. He's clawed and scraped his way to the top of the bio/logics market using little more than his wits. Now his sudden notoriety has brought him to the attention of Margaret Surina, the owner of a mysterious new technology called MultiReal. Only by enlisting Natch's devious mind can Margaret keep MultiReal out of the hands of High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless armies.

To fend off the intricate net of enemies closing in around him, Natch and his apprentices must accomplish the impossible. They must understand this strange new technology, run through the product development cycle, and prepare MultiReal for release to the public—all in three days.

Meanwhile, hanging over everything is the specter of the infoquake, a lethal burst of energy that's disrupting the bio/logic networks and threatening to send the world crashing back into the Dark Ages.

With Infoquake, David Louis Edelman has created a fully detailed world that's both as imaginative as Dune and as real as today's Wall Street Journal.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Web programmer David Louis Edelman's debut novel, Infoquake -- the first installment of his Jump 225 Trilogy -- is equal parts corporate thriller, technophilic cautionary tale, and breathtakingly visionary science fiction adventure.

In a world where virtually thousands of biological programs can enhance any bodily function -- U-No-Snooze 93 to stay awake, Analgesic 232.5 to lessen pain, PokerFace 83.4b to mask emotions, etc. -- Natch is the best at what he does, which is programming and marketing new and improved bio/logic products. But when the ruthlessly ambitious Natch is offered the opportunity of a lifetime -- to develop and launch a groundbreaking technology called MultiReal -- a host of enemies come out of the woodwork to stop him from succeeding by any means necessary…

The extensive appendices at the back of Infoquake -- which include a glossary of terms, a historical timeline, background information on the science of bio/logics, etc. -- are reminiscent of the addenda that accompanied Frank Herbert's original Dune trilogy. And similar to Herbert's vast prehistories (which planted the seeds for numerous novels and short stories by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson), Edelman's book has set the stage for potentially so much more than just a trilogy of novels. Brilliantly blending the cutthroat intrigues of the high-tech business world with revolutionary world building, Edelman could quite possibly be the love child of Donald Trump and Vernor Vinge. Infoquake is one of the most impressive science fiction debuts to come a long in years -- highly recommended. Paul Goat Allen
Kate Elliott
"Inventive and provocative, with a surprisingly emotional kick. Read this book, and then argue about it."
Author of Crown of Stars
Tobias S. Buckell
"A fascinating glimpse into an all too possible future of business, software, wetware, and over-powerful technocrats."
Author of Crystal Rain
SFFWorld.com
...the genre might not be quite the same after this book...a stunning debut novel by a lucid, precise, and talented new voice in the genre...With an already impressive list of authors in their stable, Pyr looks to have nabbed one of, if not, the next big thing in Science Fiction. This may be THE science fiction book of the year.
Publishers Weekly
Slick high-finance melodrama and dizzying technical speculation lift Edelman's SF debut, the first of a trilogy. Centuries in the future, humans rely less on machines than on upgrading their own nervous systems with nanotech bio/logic programs. Natch, a gifted young code programmer-entrepreneur obsessed with clawing his way to the top, jumps at the chance to merchandise a major new technology, MultiReal, even though he doesn't know what it is. Natch soon becomes a target for not just his business rivals but also totalitarian governmental agencies and more mysterious groups. Natch's being a borderline sociopath makes him extremely creative in business tactics and personal manipulation (and thus fascinating to read about). The world in which he operates is also fascinating, with awesome personal powers being sold on a frantic open market. Edelman, who has a background in Web programming and marketing, gives his bizarre notions a convincing gloss of detail. Bursting with invention and panache, this novel will hook readers for the story's next installment. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In a distant future dependent on the exchange of information via the Internet and other advanced technologies, Natch stands out as an expert in bio/logics, the science of programming the human body. To him falls the task of assimilating and protecting a new technology-MultiReal-from corporate spies and the deadly energy bursts, or infoquakes, that threaten the existence of all bio/logic networks. In web designer and programmer Edelman's first novel, he moves quickly from scene to scene, building suspense with believable characters and in-the-know technical expertise. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591024422
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Series: Jump 225 Trilogy Series , #1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,428,075
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

David Louis Edelman is a Web designer, programmer, and journalist. Over the past ten years, Mr. Edelman has programmed Web sites for the U.S. Army and the FBI, taught software to the U.S. Congress and the World Bank, written articles for the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, and directed the marketing departments of biometric and e-commerce companies. He lives with his wife, Victoria, in Washington, DC.

Visit David Edelman's Web site at: www.infoquake.net.

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Read an Excerpt


INFOQUAKE Volume I of the Jump 225 Trilogy


By DAVID LOUIS EDELMAN
Prometheus Books
Copyright © 2006

David Louis Edelman
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-1-59102-442-2



Chapter One Natch was impatient.

He strode around the room with hands clasped behind his back and head bowed forward, like a crazed robot stuck on infinite loop. Around and around, back and forth, from the couch to the door to the window, and then back again.

Behind him, the window was tuned to some frantic cityscape that Jara didn't recognize. Buildings huddled together at crooked angles like the teeth of old men, as tube trains probed the cavities. Singapore, maybe? Sao Paulo? Definitely a Terran city, Jara decided. Every few minutes, Natch would look in that direction and inhale deeply, as if trying to draw energy from the thousands of manic pedestrians ensconced within the four corners of the window canvas.

Natch stopped suddenly and wheeled on his apprentice. "Why are you just sitting there?" he cried, punctuating the question with a snap of his fingers.

Jara gestured to the empty spot next to her on the couch. "I'm waiting for Horvil to show up so we can get this over with."

"Where is Horvil?" said Natch. "I told him to be here an hour ago. No, an hour and a half ago. Can't that lazy bastard learn to keep a calendar?" Around and around, back and forth.

Jara regarded her employer in silence. She supposed that Natch would be devilishly handsome to anyone who didn't know he was completely insane. That casually athletic physique, the boyish face that would never know gray, those eyes predictably blue as sapphires: people like Natch just didn't exist on this side of the camera lens. Nor did they spout phrases like trouncing the competition and creating a new paradigm without a trace of irony or self-consciousness.

Natch shook his head. "I can only hope he remembers we've got a product launch tomorrow."

"I don't know why you're so uptight," said Jara. "We do twenty or thirty product launches every year."

"No," whispered Natch. "Not like this one."

Jara let it go. As usual, she had no idea what Natch was talking about. NiteFocus 48 was a routine upgrade that fixed a number of minor coding inconsistencies but introduced no new features. The program had an established track record in the marketplace, built on the well-known optical expertise of the Natch Personal Programming Fiefcorp. Unless Natch expected them to rework the rules of bio/logic programming overnight-and she wouldn't put that past him-the NiteFocus product launch would be a pretty routine affair.

"Listen," said Jara. "Why don't you let Horvil sleep for another hour? He was up all night tinkering on this thing. He probably just got to bed. Don't forget that out here, it's seven o'clock in the morning." Here was London: a sane place, a city of right angles. The city where both Horvil and Jara lived, and some six thousand kilometers away from Natch's apartment in Shenandoah.

"I don't fucking care," Natch snorted. "I haven't gotten any sleep tonight, and I didn't get any yesterday either."

"Might I remind you that I was up all night working on NiteFocus too?"

"I still don't care. Go wake him up."

For the third time that week, Jara considered quitting. He always had this condescension, this mania-no, lust-for perfection. How difficult would it be to find a job at another fiefcorp? She had fifteen years in this business, almost three times as much experience as Natch. Certainly PulCorp or Billy Sterno or even Lucas Sentinel would take her on board. Or, dare she think it, the Patel Brothers? But then she considered the three agonizing years she had spent as Natch's apprentice, and the scant eleven months to go before her contract expired. Eleven months to go until I can cash out! I should be able to keep it together that long.

So Jara didn't quit. Instead, she gave her fiefcorp master one last bitter look and cut her multi connection. True to form, Natch had already turned his back on her, probably heading into his office to do more fine-tuning on NiteFocus. You need to watch yourself, Jara thought. Natch's brand of insanity just might be contagious.

She slid into nothingness.

* * *

The hollow sensation of a mind devoid of sensory input. Those blessed two and a half seconds of free time after one multi connection ends, but before the next begins. Emptiness, blankness.

Multivoid.

Then consciousness.

Jara was back in London, but not at Horvil's place, as she had expected. Horvil must have refused her multi request, so the system had automatically stopped the feed of sensory information flowing through her neural cortex. She stood now on the red square tile that was her apartment's gateway to the multi network, staring at the walls she had never had time to decorate. She stretched her calves, slightly sore from five hours of multi-induced paralysis, and walked down the hall to the living room.

Jara's apartment insulted her with its desolation: a featureless space, a human storage chamber. She resisted the urge to blow off Natch's little summit and go shopping on the Data Sea for wall hangings. Eleven months, eleven months, eleven months, Jara told herself. And then I can cash out and start my own business and it won't matter. In the meantime, I'd better wake up Horvil.

If Horvil wasn't answering her multi requests, he was either asleep or ignoring her. The engineer was not known for being an early riser. In Horvil's parlance, early meant any time before noon, and to a global professional who hopped continents with barely a thought, noon was a slippery concept. Jara gritted her teeth and called up Confidential-Whisper 66, the program de rigueur for remote conversation. If Horvil wouldn't see her, maybe he would at least talk to her.

The engineer accepted the connection-solid evidence he was, at least, awake.

Jara waited impatiently for an acknowledgment, a response, something. "Well?" she complained. "Are you coming over to Natch's apartment or what?"

Jara heard a number of fake stretching and groaning noises from Horvil's end of the connection. ConfidentialWhisper was strictly a mental communication program, not an oral one. "I could pretend I'm still asleep," said the engineer.

"If I have to be at this idiotic meeting, Horv, then you're not getting out of it."

"Tell me again why he wants to hold a meeting this early in the morning."

"Come on, you know how it works. Apprentice in a fiefcorp, work on the master's time."

"But what's this all about?"

Jara sighed. "I have no idea. Probably another one of his stupid schemes to take over the world. Whatever he's up to, it can't be good."

"Of course it can't be good," said Horvil. "This is Natch we're talking about. I ever tell you about the time in school when Natch tried to form a corporation? Can't you just picture him trying to explain laissez-faire capitalism to a bunch of nine-year-old hive kids-"

"Horvil, I'm waiting."

The engineer sounded unconcerned. "I'm tired. Call Merri. Call Vigal."

"They're not invited."

"Why not? They're part of this company too, aren't they?"

The question had occurred to Jara as well. "Maybe Natch trusts us more than he trusts them."

Horvil chuckled and made a sound like he was spitting out pillow lint. "Right, sure. Maybe he knows we're too cowardly to stand up to him." And before Jara had a chance to respond, the engineer cut the 'Whisper connection, leaving her alone with her empty walls.

How dare he call me a coward! she fumed silently. I'm not afraid of Natch. I'm just practical, that's all. I know I only have to put up with him for eleven more months. She called up her apprenticeship contract for the thousandth time and reread the clause on compensation, hoping as always to catch a glimpse of some previously unknown loophole. But the letters floating before her eyes hadn't changed: Jara would receive nothing except room and board until the end of the four-year term, at which time her shares matured. She blinked hard, and the illusory text on the surface of her retinas vanished.

Jara gave one last wistful glance at her apartment and stepped back down the hall to open another multi connection. Multivoid swallowed her empty walls and regurgitated Natch's metropolitan windows. The fiefcorp master was nowhere to be found, but Jara was in no mood to track him down. He had to be here somewhere, or she would have never made it into the building. Jara threw herself down on the couch and waited.

Five minutes later, Horvil materialized in the room wearing the same mixture of bonhomie and bafflement he always wore. "Towards Perfection," he greeted his fellow apprentice amiably as he plopped down in Natch's favorite chair. It was actually a chair-and-a-half, but still barely wide enough to accommodate Horvil's considerable bulk. "Who's ready to wallow around in the mud? I know I could use a good wallow right about now."

Jara frowned, wondering whether Horvil had concocted some algorithm to make even his virtual clothes look disheveled. "That makes one of us," she said.

The engineer yawned and sat back in his chair with a smile. "Stop being so dramatic, Princess. If you don't want to be here, go home. What's Natch going to do? Cancel your contract? Fire you?"

Jara extended her finger into an accusatory position by reflex. She lowered it when she realized she had nothing to say.

And then Natch returned.

Neither apprentice saw the fiefcorp master come in, but now there he stood with his arms crossed and his eyes glaring. For once, he was not pacing, and this made Jara nervous. When Natch chose to focus all that kinetic energy on some concrete goal instead of stomping it into oblivion, mountains moved. Jara examined the gorge in her stomach and came to a sudden realization: she was afraid of Natch.

"We're going to the top of the bio/logics market," he announced. "We're going to be number one on Primo's."

Horvil put his feet up on the coffee table. "Of course we are," he said breezily. "We've been over this shit before. Market forces, fiefcorp economics, blah blah blah. It's inevitable, ain't it?"

Natch closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened them, his gaze fixed on a spot of nothingness hovering midway between the two apprentices. Jara suddenly felt transparent, as if the world had gained presence at her expense. "You don't understand, Horvil," he said. "We're going to be number one on Primo's, and we're going to do it tomorrow."

(Continues...)




Excerpted from INFOQUAKE Volume I of the Jump 225 Trilogy by DAVID LOUIS EDELMAN Copyright © 2006 by David Louis Edelman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Explorations Interview with David Louis Edelman Paul Goat Allen: David, you write on your web site about how the inspiration for Infoquake grew out of your hellish experience in the dot-com industry in the 1990s -- manipulative bosses, unethical business practices, unbridled greed, etc. Was there a single defining moment where you realized that, hey, this could be the basis for a great science fiction story? David Louis Edelman: I don't know if there was one single defining moment. There were a hundred little things, like having a boss insist that I steal electricity at a trade show booth, or having a company cheat me out of thousands of dollars in sales commissions. There's such a fine line between genius and madness, and when you're in the trenches it's hard to tell the difference. For a long time, I thought these people had to know what they were doing since they were making so much money. Eventually I realized that sometimes the difference between genius and madness is just a difference in marketing and perception. PGA: The protagonist of Infoquake, Natch, is a fascinating antihero full of contradictions. He'll do absolutely anything to literally bury his competition, but he has a pretty solid code of honor when it comes to his apprentices and business allies. He's a stone-cold SOB, but there's something endearing about his never-ending drive to succeed. Two questions: Was Natch based on a former boss? And was your ultimate goal to have readers hate him, empathize with him, or a little of both? DLE: There were bits and pieces of Natch that came from various bosses of mine, but contrary to what some people think, he's not based on any one particular person. A number of people have come up to me and said, "I worked for a boss who was exactly like Natch!" That's a little frightening. Obviously, at the beginning of the book, you're supposed to despise Natch. He's manipulative, he's self-centered, and he's not above spreading terrorism rumors if it'll let him climb another rung in the ladder. But as soon as you turn the page to section two, you start to see another side of him. You see that the world has been beating Natch down his entire life, and you can't help but admire the tenacious way he keeps picking himself up again. At the end of Infoquake, readers should have a lot of conflicting feelings about Natch. He could really turn either way in the next two books. PGA: Do you consider Infoquake a cautionary tale? And if so, why? DLE: There's a part of Infoquake that's a cautionary tale, but I've been very careful not to go too far down that road. The book isn't a polemic. Like with the character of Natch, there are things to both admire and fear about the future I've come up with. Hunger and disease have essentially vanished, and people take for granted the ability to travel anywhere in the world instantly. On the other hand, the world is ruled by an autocratic military organization that essentially has no checks and balances. I think some people would have been happier if I had written a straightforward novel with a good guy and a bad guy and an easily identifiable political bias. But for better or for worse, my dad taught me to always play the devil's advocate. So if you come into Infoquake expecting a political tract, you're going to be disappointed. PGA: If bio/logics were a reality, which programs would you most covet? DLE: There are so many. I love the idea of the Jamm, which is a vast musical network where you can hop onto a million different channels and start jamming with other musicians all over the world. I'd also love to be able to get on the multi network, which lets you project a virtual body anywhere on Earth and interact with other people as if you were actually there. But of course, the program I really need to get my hands on is Feminine Mystique 242.37a. I'm sure I could make millions with that one. PGA: Infoquake is the first volume in the Jump 225 Trilogy. What's the significance of "Jump 225," and what can readers expect in the second and third installments, MultiReal and Geosynchron? DLE: There's a dream sequence at the end of section one where Natch is trapped in a forest and uses a program called Jump 225 to try and escape. I used this as the central metaphor of the entire three-book series. In a broad sense, the series is all about the limitations that nature imposes on us -- age, disease, death, hunger, gravity, etc. -- and our continual attempts to overcome them. I don't want to spoil too much about MultiReal and Geosynchron. Suffice it to say that I'll be exploring a lot of the technologies and locations that are only mentioned briefly in Infoquake. You'll find out a lot more about the Islanders, the politics, the military, and the orbital colonies. Oh, and there'll be some action and some unexpected deaths too. PGA: Ever consider delving into ancient events just mentioned in Infoquake -- the Autonomous Revolt, the Big Divide, the life and death of Sheldon Surina, etc. -- as fodder for new novels or series? DLE: I intend to write a bunch of short fiction to fill in the backstory for Infoquake, but unfortunately I haven't had time yet. I have drafts of stories about Sheldon Surina on my computer that I really hope to finish someday. And there are a couple of big surprises waiting in the backstory that will really throw everything in Infoquake into a different light. Ideally I'd love to visit all of the key points in my future history, but only if something inspires me. I have no intention of writing a story just to fill in a gap in the chronology. That's what the timeline in the appendices is for. PGA: I recently read a novel where the author's pseudonym was a thinly veiled anagram that was relatively significant to the book's theme. On a whim, I ran "David Louis Edelman" through an anagram creator and came up with "Mad Villainous Deed." Pretty cool considering mine came out with "Tall Pale Guano." Just thought you might want to know. DLE: Even more interesting, Neal Stephenson is an anagram for "Hatless Neon Pen" and Vernor Vinge is an anagram for "Roving Nerve." And if you plug Jump Trilogy in, you get "Grim Jolt? Yup!" Coincidence? I don't think so. PGA: It's nice to know we're on the same wavelength…
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2006

    Fantastic and gripping beginning to a trilogy

    From the start you are thrown into a world that is controlled by bio/logics, a programmable code that extends the capabilities of the body and mind. You work backwards to figure out who Natch is and how he fits into a world of ruthless futuristic business tactics that surround bio/logics. It combines the cut-throat world of a competitive and ever-changing industry along with the philosophical and moral struggles that are attached to any society trying to progress through technology. This is a must read novel. I could not put it down after the introduction of MultiReal, a new technology that will revolutionize the way this futuristic world functions. You start this novel by investigating this new world and end up feeling like you are living in it. You become attached to all of the characters including Natch, Jara, Horvil, Serr Vigal and Quell-- flaws and all. This is just Book 1 of the Jump 225 Trilogy and you are left wanting more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    Extremely disappointing

    Very unoriginal, poorly written and chock full of junk technotalk that serves no purpose. By the end, there wasn't a single character I cared about and the story didn't seem to go anywhere.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2007

    cyber geekout

    a well meaning relative gave me infoquake for xmas. this book is jammed with geeky acronyms and it comes with an appendix listing them. if the story was as interesting as the technology, it would deserve three or four stars but most of the pages are taken up by three people talking about how to build and sell computer software (ho hum). at the end, natch is about to unleash a cool new piece of software on the world but we find out this isn't going to happen until book two. as a result, nothing interesting happens in book one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2007

    Underwhelming

    Infoquake is a technology heavy book set in a near future Earth and based around a small company developing new biologic 'software' for trivial purposes such as changing your eye color or keeping a poker face. Few of the concepts presented seemed very original and there was a lot of jargon and irrelevant history along the way. None of the characters are particularly memorable and I was annoyed that the story is cut off very abruptly at the end of this book, when it finally seemed to be going somewhere. The core concept of 'Multireal' is poorly explained and we only see it in action once. Based on this, I doubt I will come back for future books in this trilogy.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2006

    Outstanding debut novel

    Infoquake is one of the best Sci-Fi novels I've seen in years - the plot speed, character development, and story are all perfectly thought out. The reader is left begging for more....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb futuristic science fiction

    In the distant future, though relatively young, Natch is an extremely ambitious expert on the coding of nano-technical human bio-logics with a reputation that he will try anything and risk everything to be number one in his field. Margaret Surina owns a new technology MultiReal that others covet with High Executive Len Borda and his ruthless minion willing to do whatever to force her to give it to them. She offers Natch an opportunity to ¿sell¿ her new product including allowing him to use it if he can bring to market in three days he readily agrees. Natch and his team work on understanding MultiReal at the same time that Borda sends his army to take control of the product regardless of what they must do even killing Natch and his team while others make a ¿bid¿ on it too before the anticipated public market feeding frenzy. Meanwhile fear grows amidst the bio-logic world that the infoquake everyone fears is coming sooner than later to destroy their technology returning the world to the Dark Ages of stand alone CPUs and other supporting peripheral machinery. --- The reason this futuristic science fiction seems plausible is the depth of details interwoven into the cat and mouse story line so much so that the audience will accept nano-technology bio-logics as happening today, which is some ways are already here with artificial limbs and organs. Batch is not a heroic figure as his climb to the top is brutally and amorally stomping on competitors however, compared with Borda, he seems like a saint. In the first Jump 225 tale, David Louis Edelman writes an exciting thriller that grips the audience once Surina hires Natch. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    A fresh approach to post-cyber-apocalyptic cyberpunk

    Edelman is no Gibson, but then again neither is Gibson these days. If you like Cory Doctorow and need something to read in the interludes between Neal Stephenson's monoliths, give Edelman a try.

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  • Posted November 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    The First Steps Towards Perfection

    Infoquake follows the rise of bio/logic programmer Natch who lets nothing stand in the way of his ambition. This natural programmer and status climber will do anything to claw his way to the top. But there are others who are watching Natch and will use him as a tool to advance their agendas which could alter the very nature of humanity's future. Margaret Surina has developed a software that could alter the fabric of ordinary life, but she cannot bring Multireal to the masses. She finds an apt tool in Natch. But who is using who? For there are plenty of other alternative forces at work who want to control Multireal. But Natch for there is only one choice - forward and anyone in his way had better move or be run down.

    Complex and enthralling- Edelman has created a world where everyone of us can be better than ordinary if we can afford it. But all in all we're still human and all of our flaws and urges only become magnified as we increase our abilities.

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    Posted April 27, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2008

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