cover image Gamechanger


L.X. Beckett. Tor, $26.99 (576p) ISBN 978-1-250-16526-8

As this exuberant, exciting near-future yarn keeps reinventing itself, the action gets wilder and the scope wider, until the future of humankind is at stake. Though the Clawback project is beginning to rejuvenate an ecologically ruined Earth, public responsibilities are still unsettled and fluid. Cherub “Rubi” Whiting, a popular star of elaborate multiplayer virtual reality games, is excited to become a lawyer, but her first client, Luciano Pox, turns out to be difficult—and dangerous. Besides being an anti-restoration terrorist, Luciano could be a renegade AI, the dread superhuman Singularity, or an advance scout for an invasion fleet from Proxima Centauri. Meanwhile, Rubi’s father is on an obsessive hunt for the ancient oligarchs who survived Earth’s devastation and are plotting to grab power again, and Gimlet Barnes, Rubi’s rival and potential lover, is coping with her nine-year-old daughter going on a mission for the Department of Preadolescent Affairs. Each new chapter adds a different viewpoint and further information that upends reader expectations, stirring the plot in startling and wonderful ways. This delightful pinball machine of a book recalls the whiz-bang joy and gleeful innovation of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (Sept.)