Tea from an Empty Cup

Pat Cadigan, Author Tor Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-86665-5
Artificial reality is where it's at if you're hot to party in the 21st century. Plugged-in gamers flock to such AR sites as post-Apocalyptic Noo Yawk Sitty for wild cyberspace adventures. It costs a bundle to visit but it's guaranteed safe; you can die in AR and be back partying the next day. But now gamers are turning up dead in the real world, impossibly dead in locked rooms, in ways that mimic their supposedly harmless deaths on the Net. Dore Konstantin, a homicide cop with little AR experience, realizes that to solve the murders she's going to have to enter cyberspace. There she searches for the mysterious entity known as Body Sativa and, in an act of deliberate provocation, does so wearing the AR appearance of Shantih Love, the latest murder victim. Yuki Harame is also searching for someone, her missing lover who may or may not be the dead Shantih Love. Although neither Konstantin nor Yuki know of each other's existence, both have entered a dark world of online sexual perversion, and both are in deadly danger. In her first novel in five years, two-time Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Cadigan (Synners; Foods) tells a gritty and downbeat tale of multiple murders, exchanged identities and cybernetic sadomasochism. Konstantin, the embittered cop, and Yuki, the rootless nisei, are effective protagonists, but, as is often the case in Cadigan's work, the author's pyrotechnic style and intensely detailed descriptions of cyberspace are the major attractions. This well-done example of cyberpunk noir detective fiction should especially appeal to fans of William Gibson. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/03/1998
Release date: 08/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-8125-4197-7
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