||Apr 1 2000
Barnes & Noble.com
When computer records are trusted more than our own memories, more than our own senses, whoever controls the computers controls reality. The Heretic is a new kind of story, blending high-speed action with the fantasy elements of virtual reality. In the shadows of the net, a battle rages among powerful programmers whom novices see as no less than wizards. The prize: control of the very fabric of reality.
The Heretic is a former FBI agent who helped build the bureau's computer crimes division. He has erased every trace of his former existence, including the records of his own birth. He lives on an isolated ranch in Montana, creating whomever and whatever he needs to live by manipulating the computer records of banks, government agencies, and private businesses.
The Guild began as little more than a professional organization for the spell casters of the computer world, the programmers. Now, it has become an icon as powerful as the AMA. Its certification has come to be viewed as a license to operate. Even the Federal government has begun awarding contracts to the Guild, in spite of the organization's condition of anonymity for its members.
A mysterious hacker stalks the Heretic across the net, dragging him into an investigation that takes him back into the real world. Soon, he discovers that whoever is behind a bizarre string of computer sabotage cases wants him dead.
Hunted by both the police and the criminals, the Heretic finds himself alone, battling for control of a not-so-virtual reality.
For excerpts, read the online edition at The Happy Hacker Web site.
The Heretic--reviewed by Danielle Thorne
Reviewed by Danielle Thorne.
"I can be anywhere in the blink of an eye. I can be in two places at once. Or, when I wish, I can be nowhere at all." --The Heretic
Such are the words of a man without an identity. Without revealing his true name, the Heretic takes his readers on a perilous journey in to the online underworld of virtual reality. In this realm people prosper with fictional bank accounts, and can disappear without a trace. For when there's no record of you to be found, you don't exist. And that is exactly what keeps the Heretic alive.
Imagine a world controlled by one unifying government; an organization that has the power to create and destroy lives. Flowing along wires and bouncing from one satellite to the next, this powerful union does exist, and people IRL (in real life) call it: The Guild. These computer Gods control the world as we know it. Secret identities protect members from corruption, but also harbor the occasional member without a conscience. Corporations turn to them for security, banks turn to them for transactions—but what happens when the monopoly, controlled by the very technicians that created the computer, goes bad?
In THE HERETIC, an ex-FBI agent comes out of his secret existence to finish the computer hacking case that once cost him his job. As the virtual world wide controlling government of The Guild turns against itself, the Heretic must find out who is behind the robbery and blackmail of major corporations all over the country. Leaving his reclusive Montana ranch, he follows the signals to Atlanta where his old Bureau partner is hot on the electronic path. With a hit man behind every corner and his online persona falling apart, it is up to the once scorned computer genius and a FBI wildcard to crack the case online; without being terminally erased in the flesh.
Jason Chapman has put together a phenomenal proposition that crosses every genre from crime to romance. Mixing a little Clancy style with cyber adventure, it's truly a blast for anyone. And yet beyond the fast paced story line, the quality of Chapman's writing is most impressive. It is a pleasure to read, original and creative with prose that jeers at the modern trappings of the ever present, repetitive cliché. With in-depth thought in to the possibilities beyond the computer terminal, and an extensive knowledge of government networking, this novel successfully provides "good eats" for the action-starved reader.
THE HERETIC is an exciting example of what can be accomplished with electronic publishing. It promises to blow away the current underlying notion that e-books will never meet the quality or standards of print. Even if you're not convinced, you won't put this story away until the Heretic finds his way home. After that, plan on joining the rest of his readers in speculating: What does Mr. Chapman really do for a living?
---Reviewed by Danielle Thorne
A Grain of Salt
The Heretic--reviewed in Inscriptions Magazine
From the review by Liz Burton.
"The Heretic" is a stunningly creative cyberthriller that takes the reader by the throat and refuses to let go until the last high-adrenaline page is finished. Jason K. Chapman has written a book that recalls the very best of Tom Clancy and Neal Stephenson without losing the author's own taut style and distinctive voice. The great mysteries of technology are ever-present and yet never confuse -- Chapman shares Stephenson's enviable ability to make the complex easy to understand even by the technologically challenged.
Read the entire review at InscriptionMagazine.com
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Reader Reviews for "The Heretic"
|Reviewed by Victoria Murray
|'WOW, A DEFINATE MUST READ! Can't wait to read the entire book! I could just imagine myself anxiously turning the pages of this book...