The Sum of Her Parts
Alan Dean Foster
Del Rey, $15.00, Nov 27 2012
Namericans Dr. Ingrid Seastrom and Whispr the emaciated thief continue their effort to understand the data thread made from a material that cannot exist. Each has different motives as Seastrom hopes this is the beginning of saving a planet ravaged by centuries of manmade abuse and Whispr seeks to sell it to the highest bidder.
Genetically enhanced to be an army of one ruthless killer Napun Molé stalks them, they trek across Africa trying to reach a the South African Economic Combine (known as SICK) research facility in the Namib Desert where experiments have occurred. Embarrassed by his failures to assassinate the pair (see Body, Inc. and The Human Blend), Molé needs to kill them as much as for his self-esteem as for his mission. Besides the raging psychopath Molé, Seastrom and Whispr struggles from a lack of water, vicious animals seeking to make them meals and other predators wanting to control the filament.
The action-packed final Tipping Point futuristic industrial espionage science fiction satire is a fast-paced thriller that is fun to read though the constant danger and rescue seems over the top of Namibia’s Brandberg Mountain. Still fans will enjoy the misadventures of the doctor and the thief as the world has gone beyond the Tipping Point of what a human is. Harriet Klausner
Bleeding Edge: Cyberpunk Short Stories
BlackWyrm, Oct 31 2011, $11.95
“Information Super Highway.” Rachael is a driver on the police force. She seeks the only other driver in the city as this rogue breaks the law while apparently working for the hacker the Code Master.
“Captain’s Quarters.” Pirate Captain Lopez captures Navy Ensign Spearman whose father owns a major ship yard. She demands a ransom accordingly.
“Binary Angel.” When Cybernetic Research Institute security guard Yawako is near death after an assault on the facility, Cyan the cyborg demands they save the life of the female he loves.
“Dead Zone.” Near Jacksonville, Loki enters Green Oak, a dead zone area where no signal occurs. He meets with bank owner Slim who hires him to investigate a bank robbery.
“Children and Emperors.” In twenty second century Japan, Tenriki demands the long vacant emperor’s throne as a 49. Four 3s children challenge his claim.
“Fable of the Fox and the Crow, Version 2.0.” On Mars, Raven and Vixen are a team of bounty hunters with her being the brawn while he is the face. Stritous Pen captures and crucifies Vixen. Though Raven knows his Vixen could easily kill him which means Stritous is even deadlier, he confronts the enemy as he risks death to save the female he loves.
These are six exciting violent entries in realms in which society has no heart but individuals prove they do. Filled with action and solid protagonists, fans will enjoy this entertaining twisting anthology as Ramsey Lundock’s Cyberpunk realm will remind readers of Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. Harriet Klausner
Erin McCarthy and Kathy Love
Berkley, Nov 6 2012, $15.00
In New Orleans the Impalers vampire rock band and their manager Stella Malone throw a wake to honor their lead singer Johnny Malone who committed suicide. The alcohol-blood concoction flows as the band members grieve their loss but not as much as Stella who feels alone with her brother dead.
Stella and bass Wyatt Axelrod find solace with each other until he says the L word love which sends her fleeing like a bat in hell. Berto Cortez awakens wondering if he converted washboard player Katie Lambert into a vampire before or after marrying her. Keyboard player Saxon has a cross etched on his head giving him a headache. Finally the other Impaler Drake lost a fang. Each wants to know what happened last night.
This is a fun lighthearted vampiric take of the Hangover as a vampire quartet have one hell of a wakeup call as they try to piece together what happened last night. Fast-paced and amusing, readers will want to know what else was in the alcoholic blood drinks. Harriet Klausner