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Paul Barrows

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HeadSpace
by Paul Barrows   

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Category: 

Science Fiction

Publisher:  iUniverse ISBN-10:  0595138969 Type: 
Pages: 

360

Copyright:  Aug 30 2000
Fiction

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Near future cyberpunk thriller. The development of neural interfacing spawns frightening upheaval and a deadly battle for a new-born Cyberspace.

Shadow was a zero, a nothing, one of a growing underclass thrown up in the wake of the vast corporate leviathans which daily swallow ever-growing tracts of a crumbling society.




The Net was his home, as it was to six billion others, the virtual worlds behind the eyepiece a new underworld where hackers cut deals and peddled terrabyte chunks of ripped-off corporate cake. But it was just data, the elaborate VR tapestry was an illusion spun by hi-res stereo optics. Cyberspace was just an electrical mirage, no more real than TV or hi-fi.




Until one day it changed.
At some point - nobody knows when - something happened, something barely on the threshold of consciousness. 'It' somehow woke up, came alive. At first there were just thin rumours, the hushed whispers and urban myths that spread like a voice-born virus. But when a clan of high-tech pagans go crazy the stories darken and intensify - a diabolical force permeating the Net, a hideous presence growing in an embryonic cyberspace.




Shadow was starting pick up the vibe, too, but Shiva, 2-Bit and the others didn't have much time for ghost stories. They were more interested in the news that was spreading across the underworld. Word was out that someone had finally done it: Direct Neural Interfacing - the holy grail of technology - was here, enabling a direct cortical jack between the human mind and the electrical miasma of the Net. The door to cyberspace was finally open.




Suddenly an old flame is dead after shadowing a satellite hack; dead from that particular species of coronary failure that stinks of corpshop erasure. The uneasy stand-off between the 'Big Three' super-corporations is over, and a deadly race begins for a technology that will change everything.
Shadow is suddenly centre-stage in a drama that will decide the future of humanity, and brings him to a climactic confrontation with the nameless horror that awaits in a new-born cyberspace.
  

Professional Reviews

HeadSpace
"In a series of curiosity-whetting jump-cut scenes we meet a range of individuals operating in this future - security people, corporate people, weirdos from the Outculture. And we meet Jake, a gifted but small-time young hacker, his girlfriend Eve ... {whose} ... dismal dramas are being played out against a background of enormous upheaval. Someone has developed a "biochip " making the silicon sort redundant, making possible a direct interface between the human brain (mind) and an ultimate computer ... Jake is taken on by a top-level gang of hackers to steal the data on the new chip; the corporations throw their resources in ferocious security progrrams to protect it. The prize is immense power; the stakes are mortal.

It's all really quite good. It grabbed me and held me as I think it would grab many SF fans - by virtue of its compelling thriller dimension and powerful dramatic action, its range of attention-grabbing characters .. but also because of its strikingly imaginative vision of the future society and its startling new technologies."

Reader's Report - Watson Little Agency.



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Reader Reviews for "HeadSpace"

Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 3/31/2006
Sounds wonderful! I love Science Fiction...

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