Echelon

Josh Conviser, Author . Del Rey $13.95 (289p) ISBN 978-0-345-48502-1

Characters tend to banter rather than talk in screenwriter Conviser's workmanlike SF debut, set in an indeterminate and pacified future in which whoever controls Echelon, an electronic surveillance system, controls the world. After Echelon agent Ryan Laing dies and is brought back via nanotech "drones," he possesses an extra connection into Echelon's data flow. This ability comes in handy when Ryan and fellow agent Sarah Peters discover a coup in progress against Christopher Turing, Ryan's mentor and Echelon's director. Alternately on the run from and penetrating into Echelon's past and present, the pair persuade other agents to join them in a hunt for a legendary hacker hideout, Elysium. The highly visual descriptions of the cyberpunk setting make the usual suspects (nanotech that confers superpowers, secretive "suits" vs. "street" hackers, virtual/physical reality crossover) a bit more cinematic, albeit at the expense of believability. The mystery of Echelon's origin dangles at the end, pointing to the promised sequel. (July)

Reviewed on: 04/17/2006
Release date: 07/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 1 pages - 978-0-345-49341-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-5116-7
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