Pat Cadigan, Author . Tor $22.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-312-85377-8

British author Cadigan (Fools; Synners) returns to the provocative Artificial Reality multiverse of Tea from an Empty Cup (1998) for an equally intriguing sequel. Promoted to the dubious post of chief officer in charge of TechnoCrime, AR division, Det. Lieutenant Doré Konstantin maintains her ironic view of the off-balance world of AR and the people who frequent it. Artificial Reality is a new and separate country, with rules and customs alien to the Real world ("as the screens were obliged by law to remind you before each and every session in AR, nothing was true, everything was a lie, and all of it in billable time"). While checking reports that a casino ring in AR's "low-down Hong Kong" has been brainwashing clients, Konstantin stumbles into a similar investigation by a separate police agency—or so they would have her believe. Meanwhile, AR-based clothing designer Susannah Ell wants to file stalking charges against her ex-husband, Hastings Dervish. The problem, she says, is that Dervish is digital: somehow he's managed to leave his body behind and enter AR completely. In a world where reality is completely subjective, Konstantin's search for the truth takes her once again through the shifting planes of AR's consensual hallucination. Cadigan's writing is crisp and tight as ever in this brisk cyber adventure, as told through Konstantin's wry observations. Once again the author draws the reader into a strange but fully realized world whose only constant is its unflinching view of human nature. Agent, Merilee Heifetz.(Sept. 26)

FYI:Cadigan has won two Arthur C. Clarke awards for best novel.

Reviewed on: 07/23/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-312-87656-2
Show other formats
Discover what to read next