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by Julian Gough

The beautifully shaded and emotive relationship between the techie, autistic teenager and his worried, protective mother is satisfying enough, so it's almost an anticlimax when the cyber-warfare thriller action kicks in, but that's more than compensated by the metaphysical, hyper-evolutionary pyrotechnics- Gaia hypothesis meets The Matrix via The Bourne Identity.

Extract

For a moment, by default - because guns have always meant games- Colt applies game logic; assumes that he has transitioned back into the gameworld, or forgotten he was in the gameworld; and Colt reaches for his own gun; but he doesn't have one.
And disentangling the levels of reality; realising that his father is real, and has a real gun, and that Colt is unarmed; this has taken up a lot of realtime, because some of the thinking is using his old brain structures; it is slooooooow; and his new brain structures can't decide what to do until he knows what is real and what is not.

Parallels

The Player of Games by Iain M Banks
Idoru by William Gibson
 

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