cover image Waking Hell

Waking Hell

Al Robertson. Gollancz, $24.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4732-0343-3

This enjoyable sequel to the cyberpunk thriller Crashing Heaven finds humans, living and dead, caught once more between rogue AIs fighting for control of a remote space station and the fate of humankind. Leila Fenech is a fetch, physically dead but living on in software. She works odd jobs aboard the hollowed-out asteroid called Station. When her brother, Dieter, is fatally injured by a piece of ancient tech, she expects him to join her as a fetch; instead, he and all the code he ever wrote disappear into a shadowy organization run by a secretive system called Deodatus. Determined to get Dieter back, Leila goes on the run, hoping to prevent a war that could wipe out every living thing on Station and beyond, while being recorded as reality entertainment. Expanding a fascinating universe, Robertson brings to life a virtual world where memories can be rewritten without warning and physical distance means nothing. A brisk, twisty plot with plenty of intrigue will work for action fans as well as more philosophical readers who love to ponder big ideas. (Apr.)