by Richard K. Morgan:

600 Years in the future, mankind has spread to a number of worlds, but Earth is still a cesspool. The main thing is that data compression technology has progressed to the point whereour entire consciiousness (our personality) can be digitized, and uploaded into a new body (sleeve.) Mostly rich guys and soldiers can afford to be 'needlecast' or 'resleeved', either to get to a new colonial world that needs 'free elections' supervised HAH!, or - in the case of a really rich guy - to be able to live 300 or more years, casting off an aging casing for a new body at will. The hero, Takehashi Kovacs (a Japanese-Hungarian blend?) is a renegade soldier brought out of cold storage to solve a mystery - this rich guy insists that his suicide was really a murder. Imagine that! Well, as the reviews say, it's 1/2 part cyberpunk, and 1/2 part Ramond Chandler type detective novel. Only problem - too violent. But the author does have a pretty good rationale for his use of violence in this interview.

This one has turned into my favorite Morgan book. It’s loaded with embedded testosterone, made me an animal while I was reading it. Takes place in London now or soon. As far as I understand this cynexcursion of Morgan’s into the next few years, Globalization has led to Conflict Investment, where the savvy investor can buy a share in the outcome of various regional and world conflicts. Back the Chechens in their ongoing strife with Russia; choose THIS drug cartel in Colombia over THAT one: the stakes are your invested capital. Your broker not only takes your money, he uses the full resources of his Firm to influence the outcome of the conflict: he may even switch sides, selling out his former side, if the move will lead to greater good (er, Profit!) The next generation of stock brokers are the only ones rich enough to afford gas (petrol, sorry!) and duel it out on the M-whatevers (arteries leading into London) – in cool cars, driving each other off the road in sanctioned challenges on their way ‘to the office.’

by Timothy Powers:

1.The Stress of Her Regard

The great English Romantic Poets, Byron,Shelley and Keats, are revealed to have had something in common besides their fantastic poetry....they share a muse that is in fact a stone Vampire thousands of years old,related to the Hapsburg dynasty, and she is their jealous lover.

2. The Anubis Gates

A credible time travel tale, linking gypsy magic, ancient Egypt, and the squalid beggar gangs of 19th century London. So visual, it's impossible to disbelieve. So  fantastic, it's equally impossible to accept!

3. Last Call

A scary saga of LUCK...its Posessor...and the good souls that must battle him against stiff odds. Set(naturally) in and around Las Vegas from the twenties to the seventies.

by Neal Stephenson:

1. Snow Crash

Stephenson's work is hard to describe, because it embraces so many subjects! This one has a Japanese/American Samurai Warrior/ Computer Hacker for a hero. Acually his name is Hiro: Hiro Protagonist !  There's a (computer) virus being spread by this 7 foot deviant Eskimo genius wielding an incredibly sharp blade made of all natural ingredients. This virus is able to cross the information/biological barrier, to "wipe clean" a person's mental slate, leaving their mind's eye as empty and chaotic as the "snow" you can see on TV, after the station signs off. Very dangerous.


2. The Diamond Age

Set in the Pacific Rim of the near future. England has regained its Empire, largely due to advances it has pioneered in the science of NanoTechnology: tiny bacteria-sized machines that can be "taught" to build almost anything, cheaply and micro-miniaturized. (including more machines that can be taught to build...) Starvation has been eliminated (machines can make food out of garbage) but poverty has not gone away. In a poor section of Hong Kong, a young girl accidentally finds a new kind of child's book. Originally designed for the richest of children, it's a kind of interactive laptop PowerBook, which monitors its 'child', and grows and adapts to the child's development. Since it's linked to the Internet, its info resources are limitless. Since itsprogrammed goal is the protection and improvement of its child, amazing evolutionary changes begin to transformthis street-smart orphan. The scope of the book keeps getting bigger and bigger....

3. Zodiac

Stephenson wrote this one before Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, but it has cool stuff to it also. It's about an ecological warrior, a young chemist, who takes on the big chemical companies that are polluting the Boston (USA) harbor. It somehow approaches the surreal heights of his later books while remaining quite down to earth in its locales and characters. A great narrator's voice in this one.

4. Here's a 'book review' of his new one, Cryptonomicon.

by William Gibson:


A 21st Century Maltese Falcon...complete with A heroine with razor-blades for fingernails, A ganga-smokin I-Ree orbital crew, 2 immense networks striving to become One and alive, A family of Super-rich clones...and A hero who's central nervous system has been biologically booby-trapped to prevent him from body-surfin the Future Net for stolen data-pearls.

2.Count Zero

Three diverse plots collide, fueled by technology and rockandroll

3.Mona Lisa Overdrive

The West Coast, but there's no USA anymore...

4.Burning Chrome

(early short stories)
...some of which developed into the above-listed novels

-Gibson's newer novels are cool too, he's developed a Zen sparseness. But the denser earlier works are more mind-blowing.-He's really a master at evoking a nightmarefuture with words that you know, but ain't never heard put together  before!

Other Great Books:

by Greg Bear:

Blood Music
A biotech researcher swallows his experiment...And NanoTech goes Nuts

Queen of the Angels
Voodoo and Psychotherapy go head to head in LA and Haiti, 21st Century.
Shrinks can literally "walk through your mind," but analysis of a mass-killer goes haywire...

by Paul McCaulley

A young genius casts her spell over the world from a London flat...unleashing a new race of bioengineered "fairies"...The world will never be the same again.

by J.R. Dunn

Days of Cain
The Eternity time-travel police hunt down a rebellious band of time-police officers, led by a lady Saint, which has gone back to Germany in the 20th century to try to kill Hitler. (It's against the Rules to mess with the past, even the Holocaust.) Who's side are YOU on???

by Phillip K. Dick:

Through the Glass Darkly

A federal narcotics officer is so stoned on LSD, that he doesn't even realize that he's investigating ...HIMSELF! ...
Classic Phillip K. Dick portrayal of schizophrenia, his main theme, I think.

The Martian Time-Slip

The strange powers of an autistic child brought up on the bleak Mars of the next century.
( also, almost anything he wrote!)

by Olaf Stapleton:

The Star Maker
A Scandinavian man, steps out of his house to look at the stars, and is whisked away on a tour of all the galaxies' life forms, past and future, as pure consciousness. He and his tourmates witness the best and worst results of Life-Force's experiments. The Creator is close at hand, but allows life to develop in its own way. Some races evolve to such an advanced state that they can no longer be observed....others go down to destruction through fear hatred and wars, and are gone forever......Some races even MATE together, ending centuries of strife between species...
(I must admit that this notion inspired a great deal of my 2nd opera,"Sea of Simile." )


by Kurt Vonnegut:

Cat's Cradle

The Sirens of Titan

(those are my faves anyway)

by Robert Heinlein:

Glory Road

A footloose sabre-wielding hero gets hired by the most cosmically delectable babe-boss you could ever dream of. She's a galactic queen and the mission she has in mind calls for all his courage,spirit and intelligence.


Between Planets

Twins are hired to be the communications system for an interstellar rocket program: At the great distances of many light-years between planets, radio takes too long to travel (at the speed of light, the nearest star would take 4 years to contact, because it is 4 light-years away.) BUT, mental telepathy travels instantly.....their powers are developed by the foxy and wise Dr. Arnault, and one twin is on his way. The twist is that due to time dilation, the twin on Earth ages, while the twin in the ship seems to stay the same age...very touching, (especially to a twin like me!)

Stranger in a Strange Land

Michael Valentine Smith was born on Mars to an exploratory astronaut team that died soon thereafter. He was brought up by the Martians, and is kind of "different" (in a very cool way.) Twenty years later, he is brought back to Earth by the NEXT Mars mission.  He becomes the focus for everything that is good and bad about the world. A commune of beautiful women grows around this Stranger, orchestrated by one of Heinlein's best versions of his philosophizing older hero: Jubal Harshaw, lawyer extraordinaire. Earth is about to evolve...
(good for young readers, or political conservatives...

when I read back now, I wonder at some of his dogmas!)

by Arthur C. Clark

Childhood's End

My favorite book about enlightened alien invasion. Much smoother than 2001, etc.

by Gregory Benford:


Fast forward fifty years: You can't even take a walk in the country without
falling into a sinkhole, or catching Leukemia.
But it's worse... much worse: radiation, death, eco-calamity, everywhere.
The only hope: particle beams, traveling backwards in time, to warn the
people of OUR time, what will happen if Bush-type leaders prevail....

by John Varney:


The movie of this great book, starring Kris Kristoferson and Cheryl Ladd
(talk about a cast!!!) had the coolest plane crash that I've ever seen
(from inside the plane.) And that's only the beginning. Future/Present again.

by Philip Baruth
The X-President

This great combination of political novel, sci-fi, and serious page-turning satire, deposits us in 2055,
in a world where the US is losing the Cigarette Wars, basically WWIII, to the super-Hacker Chinese
and all the "stan" countries of the former Soviet Union. The NSC has been dabbling in time travel.

by Peter Hoeg:

Smilla's Sense of Snow 

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