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Black Glass

John Shirley

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Elder Signs Press

Published : 2008

Copyright : John Shirley 2008

ISBN-10 : PB 1-934501-07-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-934501-07-8

Publisher's Write-Up

Taking the fall for his younger brother, Richard Candle went from being a cyber cop to a condemned criminal.

After four years of ‘UnMinding’ with his mind suppressed and his body enslaved he's released to discover his brother has slipped back into the underworld of the V-Rat: the virtual reality addict.

Meanwhile, Candle's harried by the murderous Grist, the head of the world's biggest multinational. But his real enemy is something else: a conscious program, the Multisemblant, a meld of copied personalities, the dark side of five powerful people, with its own brutal agenda.

Human society is sinking ever deeper into a mire of escapism, but Richard Candle, looking for his missing brother, fights his way through the real world of underground stock markets, flying guns, the trash-walled labyrinth of Rooftown, and the fringe of the fringe.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (300916) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 9/10

In near future Los Angeles, ex-cop Richard Candle has just been released from prison. This is not your average prison; he has spent the last four years being UnMinded. What happens is that your body functions as normal, used for heaven knows what, while your conscious mind is turned off. It basically turns a person into a brainless automaton. Richard took the fall for Danny, his younger brother, who would have done hard time in a real prison.

Meantime, Grist is the head of Slakon, the world's largest multinational corporation, which owns everything, including the police the courts and Congress. He is building a multisemblant, which is a melding of the copied personalities of the other Slakon board members into one artificial program. His intention is to kill the other board members, and, with the multisemblant's help, run Slakon on his own.

It is a world where the only 'good' thing seems to be the ability to lose one's self inside a 3D virtual reality existence, sometimes to the point of starving to death. Richard's intention is to take Danny, a VR addict, away from LA, and get him cleaned up. Danny slips out of Richard's custody, and takes one last VR trip. Things do not end well.

The multisemblant decides to take matters into its own 'hands'. There are a number of loose ends to be tied up before it can run Slakon on its own. People start dying in all sorts of graphic ways, including Grist. Can Richard find the actual server where the program is stored, and put it out of business for good, before his name is added to the death toll?

This is a very cool, and very high-tech, novel, written by one of the pioneers of the cyberpunk genre. A person can almost feel the grime, the pollution, and the neural implant telephones while reading this book. This might be the first novel to do something different with the chapter headings at the start of each chapter (read the book and you'll see). This novel may not be for everyone, but it is extremely highly recommended.
Paul Lappen (30th September 2016)

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