Travis S. Taylor, Author . Baen $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-7434-9896-8

In the tradition of Golden Age SF author E.E. "Doc" Smith, Taylor's amped-up sequel to Warp Speed (2004) explodes with inventive action. When nebbishy computer repairman Steve Montana wakes up in a flying saucer, about to be dissected by alien Grays, he starts behaving like the video-game warrior he's only imagined being until now. He slays the aliens, gets rid of their brain implant that's been causing his emotional instability, liberates fellow captive Titania, uses nanomachines to make the two of them superhuman and races back to a secret base on Earth's moon, where Americans are plotting strategy against the Grays. What the story lacks in characterization, it more than makes up for in plot complications. The scenes of hand-to-hand combat are mind-boggling. Thanks to their enhanced physiques, Steve and Titania can move their bodies so fast that they create sonic booms. Even more dazzling is the imaginative playfulness with which Steve creates new tactics, suggesting new cutting-edge scientific possibilities, which lead to even more revelations. Beneath the comic-book exuberance, there's plenty of stimulating and satisfying speculation. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/21/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Mass Market Paperbound - 417 pages - 978-1-4165-2100-6
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