cover image EHEMOTH: Seppuku

EHEMOTH: Seppuku

Peter Watts, . . Tor, $25.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-1172-6

In Canadian author Watts's intense, beautifully written conclusion to his Rifters trilogy (after 2004's ßehemoth: ß-Max ), Lenie Clarke, the near-psychotic, bio-engineered woman who loosed the deadly organism known as ßehemoth on an already environmentally compromised world, resurfaces from the ocean's depths to discover who's behind continuing efforts to destroy all life on Earth. Together with Lubin, a bio-engineered man who's a highly efficient killer, Clarke discovers an America that has been devastated, not just by ßehemoth but by attacks from heavily fortified, high-tech enclaves whose rulers will stop at nothing in a futile attempt to contain the out-of-control organism. Worse still, the battle is apparently being led by Achilles Desjardins, a murderous psychopath who has slipped the protective psychological programming that once kept his darker impulses under control. Aided by Taka Ouellette, a guilt-ridden, second-rate physician, Clarke and Lubin strive desperately to unravel the secrets of both ßehemoth and Seppuku, its even more dangerous mutation. Like some adrenaline-charged fusion of Clarke's The Deep Range and Gibson's Neuromancer , Watts's trilogy represents a major addition to early 21st-century hard SF. Agent, Donald Maass. (Jan. 5)

FYI: As an author's note explains, this is the second half of ßehemoth, which was split in two by the publisher against Watts's wishes. The trilogy should be read in order, starting with 1999's Starfish.