Like his peers William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, bestselling author Bruce Sterling writes cutting-edge speculative fiction firmly rooted in today's reality. Now in The Zenith Angle, he has created a timely thriller about an information-age security expert caught up in America's escalating war on terror.Infowar. Cybercombat. Digital security and techno-terror. It's how nations and networks secretly battle, now and into the future. And for Derek "Van" Vandeveer, pioneering computer wizard, a new cyberwarrior career begins on the fateful date of September 11, 2001.
The godfather of cyberpunk abandons SF in this satiric look at the high-tech security industry after 9/11. Dr. Derek Vandeveer gives up his high-paying job in private industry in order to try to help the government plug the nation's most serious computer security leaks. Unfortunately, he soon discovers that many of the worst problems are either too expensive to fix or impossible to deal with for political reasons. Vandeveer finds himself living in a slum in Washington, D.C., up to his ears in red tape and surrounded by a cast of would-be cyber warriors and failed dot-com entrepreneurs. Even worse, he's paying for the equipment he needs out of his own pocket. Worst of all, Vandeveer's wife Dottie, a world-class astronomer, is off on a mountaintop in Colorado. Meanwhile, something or someone is playing games with America's most sophisticated spy satellite and Vandeveer stakes his reputation on solving the mystery. Sterling (Zeitgeist) knows the world of cyber-security inside out, and he does a fine job of talking the talk without losing his readers. The Vandeveers have a convincingly believable geek marriage and their scenes together are particularly well done. Sterling has always been more comfortable with satire than action, however, and the shift near the end to techno-thriller mode isn't entirely successful. Still, this novel should please the author's fans, many of whom will be interested in the latest innovations in computer security. Agent, Merilee Heifetz at Writers House (On sale Apr. 27) Forecast: A six-city author tour should help Sterling break out of genre, in the footsteps of such other SF writers like William Gibson and Neal Stephenson who have won a wide mainstream readership. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
April 26, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling
NEW JERSEY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
With eager screams of hunger, little Ted Vandeveer drove his parents from their bed.
Dottie slipped a rubber-coated spoon between the infant's lips. Baby Ted blew out his chubby cheeks. Porridge spurted across the table.
Dottie scanned the mess. Her eyelids flicked upward meaningfully.
"Where's the au pair?" Van hedged.
"She didn't come in last night."
Van rose from his white plastic chair, and fetched a white paper towel. With the wisdom of experience, Van tore off a second towel for Ted to use as backup. Van still felt giddy inside his mansion's bright new kitchen. The new kitchen featured deep steel sinks, thick red granite counters, and a chromed fridge the size of a bank vault. When he'd signed up for a house renovation, Van hadn't known that New Jersey contractors were so enthusiastic.