cover image Hammerjack


Marc Giller, Author Spectra Books $12 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-38331-7

Though deeply derivative of William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, Giller's action-packed debut has cinematic crackle and a crisp pace despite its dense exposition. The titular high-tech cowboy, Cray Alden, is caught in guerrilla warfare between the Collective, the corporate world government, and an opposition group of fanatical Luddites known as the Inru, who are hell-bent on stopping the advance of science and technology. Giller throws the standard cyberpunk elements-recreational designer drugs, surgically enhanced assassins and direct interface with the matrix-into the mix of his dystopian world, in which wired individuals called runners carry information illegally obtained by the hammerjacks, selling it to the highest bidder. Cray works for the CSS (Corporate Special Services, the Collective's CIA) under the supervision of the dangerous and inscrutable Phao Yin. After Cray botches the capture of a runner named Zoe, who carried blueprints for a technological innovation that could tip the global balance of power, he's sent on a global odyssey, teaming up with beautiful maverick Lea Prism and facing down the lethal Inru agent Avalon. Giller's brave new world consistently entertains and may provide a solid foundation for a series. Agent, Kimberly Cameron.