cover image Virtual Destruction

Virtual Destruction

Kevin J. Anderson. Ace Books, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-441-00308-2

Anderson and Beason have teamed up once again, but this time the results are less inspiring than their Nebula nominee, Assemblers of Infinity. Perhaps the biggest problem with this near-future thriller is that it doesn't stick to its authors' strengths. The portrayal of the potential future uses of virtual technology are convincing and intriguing, but this technology is incidental to the plot. In addition, all the characters seem like recent graduates from junior high school. If this book is accurate, America's military-industrial complex is and staffed and run by people who wear Spider-Man T-shirts, cheat on their mistresses and stuff plutonium buttons down each other's pants. Given these problems, it's hard to take this too seriously as mystery or as science fiction. (Mar.)