(#154782) HYPERTHOUGHT. M. M. Buckner.

HYPERTHOUGHT. New York: Ace Books, [2003]. Small octavo, pictorial wrappers. First edition. Signed on the title page by Buckner. The author's first book. Buckner's "first three SF novels are set in an exceedingly grim but realistic planet Earth, though her excessively intricate plotting tends to divert attention from the harshness of the near future/moderately distant future she posits. HYPERTHOUGHT (2001) and WAR SURF (2005) -- the latter won the Philip K Dick Award for 2006 -- are closely linked. An accumulation of early twenty-first-century ecological disasters has driven humanity to the poles, though even there it is dangerous to go above ground; in the sequence, a 'surfer' is defined as a person who ventures onto the surface of the planet. After a century or so of this, the rich/poor divide has become even more grotesque than in the early years of this century; the rich are able to afford rejuvenation procedures, while billions of short-lived illiterate 'proles' clog the underground cities; huge corporations rule the planet. There are resemblances to the world David Marusek has evolved in the stories that climax in his COUNTING HEADS (2005), but Buckner is less sanguine, though the ending of WAR SURF, whose rejuvenated protagonist sacrifices himself to make others potentially immortal, reaches towards the kind of transcendental climax favored by hard SF writers like Stephen Baxter. The foreground of her tales is (somewhat damagingly) occupied by larger-than-life protagonists who usually speak to us in the first person, and whose adventures in dystopia are sometimes distracting: to war surf, for instance, is to get intimate with one of the planet's innumerable armed conflicts, and to come back to the polders of the rich with unbeatable footage." - John Clute, SFE (online). Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1986-2009. A fine copy. (#154782).

Price: $35.00

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Printing identification statement for this book:
"Ace mass-market edition / February 2003 / ... / 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on copyright page.