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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Imagine a world where the smallest whim could be granted with a mere thought, a self-indulgent unreality that conformed to its inhabitants' every desire. Karl Schroeder's Lady of Mazes is set in a seemingly utopian realm of augmented reality where the majority of the populace of has neural and sensory implants -- but what happens when the plug gets pulled?
Teven Coronal is a ringworld inhabited by numerous human civilizations, each living within its own manifold. Most inhabitants are so absorbed with their own versions of reality that they don't even care that other manifolds exist. Livia Kodaly lives in Westerhaven, a high-tech manifold where the populace creates extravagant unrealities. But when mysterious revolutionaries invade and destroy Teven Coronal's fragile way of life, Livia vows to free her conquered homeland and restore Westerhaven to its former glory. But the more Livia learns, the deeper the mystery becomes…
A prequel to Schroeder's critically acclaimed Ventus (2000), Lady of Mazes is a much broader, more ambitious novel that takes on a host of themes and topics including emergent systems, rogue artificial intelligences, nanotechnology, post-humanity, and the future incarnations of politics and religion. Schroeder creates an awe-inspiring future -- the worlds of the coronals -- so richly described, so intensely detailed, that readers will find themselves totally immersed in its brilliance. Schroeder has been compared to master world builders Arthur C. Clarke, Vernor Vinge, and Larry Niven for good reason: This labyrinthine novel will blow hard science fiction fans away. Paul Goat Allen