PJ Manney. Amazon/47North, $14.95 trade paper (570p) ISBN 978-1-4778-2849-6

Futurist lecturer Manney’s intriguing and fast-paced debut takes a close look at possible consequences of sophisticated bioengineering. Peter Bernhardt, a “biogineer,” is framed for one of the greatest mass murders in history, committed by terrorists using his company’s nanotechnology. Peter infuses his own brain with nanobots, hoping that his upgraded intelligence will help him secure the assistance of the powerful Phoenix Club, but this only makes him more of a target to those who want to use his technology. With poignancy and sensitivity, Manney constructs an intricate and adventurous plot. The characterization is rich, with an uncommon and welcome depth found in the protagonist. But Manney introduces so many interesting ideas that at times the book feels overcrowded and bogged down, despite its considerable length. Fans of gosh-wow SF will devour this novel all the way to the startling ending. (June)