Thursday, January 19, 2012

Book Review: Fate's Mirror by M.H. Mead

Margaret Yang and Harry Campion collectively known as M. H. Mead has got to be one of the best things to come out of the cyberpunk genre in *years* not since Nueromancer have I so connected with a hacker protagonist. Most of them are a bit boring, seemingly omniscient and all-powerful in AND out of cyberspace, Sueism at its finest. But that's not how Fate's Mirror portrays Morris, a fantastically flawed (yet awesome) successor to Gibson's Case, Morris is a viker (Mead's term for a the elite hackers of her fictional `verse) who is also agoraphobic. Even going outside for a few moments is pure torture, but the main thrust of the novel in this reviewers opinion forces exactly this, many of the most poignant and page-turning moments of this work come when you find yourself wondering if Morris is going to be able to last just a little bit longer. Cope just a little bit more. Outlast the neurosis that's driving him to quit. It is, to say the least, gripping. Not to mention the treatment of AI's, cyberspace, and technology in general. This is a cyberpunk tale that is fairly novel (please pardon the pun) in its approach to these things, the world itself is pretty realistic, with the probable of tomorrow being the possible of today. If you're anything like me this in itself is a `win'; I like my fiction either annoyingly realistic or heroically UN-realistic. I found that the first time I read this book I missed many of the details I found in the second (and third!) readings. The follow-up prequel Good Fences, is short, sweet, and to the point but reveals a few more layers of Morris and gives a nice view into Mead’s world. This is in this my humble opinion the sign of a wonderful and talented author. Keep your eyes to the horizon, I can foresee Mead's star rising, it may not be meteoric but it will be one that stays and lasts far into the future. You can find Margaret Yang at @Margaret_Yang on Twitter and see her personal blog here.

I give both Fate's Mirror and Good Fences four out of five pennies.

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