cover image The Fortunate Fall

The Fortunate Fall

Raphael Carter. Tor Books, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86034-9

Maya Andreyeva is a reporter on the Net--a ""camera."" Everything she sees, hears or feels is immediately broadcast to millions. Now she's got a handle on the story of a lifetime, the government-led coverup of a series of massacres. Urged on by her mysterious new partner, Keishi Mirabara, the wired technician in charge of editing her broadcasts for public consumption, Maya seeks an interview with Pavel Voskresenye, a survivor of one of the massacres. She finds, however, that she has put her life at risk simply by contacting Pavel, because he is also being sought by the Weavers, the all-powerful Net police. Carter's repressive future Earth is a strange place. The U.S. lies in near ruins after a failed attempt at world domination. And in this world where virtual reality makes almost everything possible, it's hard to be certain of anything. Like many first novels, Carter's suffers from occasional problems of pacing and structure. Even so, this highly literate, grim and gripping example of latter-day cyberpunk counts as one of the most promising SF debuts in recent years. (July)