Take hard SF, mix in a healthy dose of cyberpunk, add a touch of noir and sprinkle ironically with James Bond, and you have the recipe for Neal Asher’s fantastic debut Gridlinked.
The novel takes place in a future where humanity has discovered a way to instantaneously travel vast distances and thus has colonized much of the galaxy, a utopia where almost everybody has a chance to live forever and be as happy as they like; all political decisions are made by dispassionate artificial intelligences that do their utmost to keep things as fair as possible. This is known as The Polity, and of course a minority of people utterly hate it.
The title refers to the state of Polity agent Ian Cormac, who has been gridlinked—plugged in directly to the artificial intelligences—for much longer than is healthy and whose humanity has been drained away by this prolonged intimate contact with the machines.
Gridlinked is fast-paced, ripping with action and ideas, thought-provoking, and above all a solid ball of fun.
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.
The Internet tells Nic to install Ubiquiti gear in his house, so he does, and now he has thoughts.
What I wish I’d known when I started podcasting.
Nic starts a new podcast about—gasp!—American sports.
Mostly excellent non-fiction in this installment. Includes Fantasyland, The Miracle of Dunkirk, Das Reich, The Undoing Project, Waiting for the Punch, Vacationland and Points of Impact.