A book review.
by Walter Jon Williams
This is a story about two people thrown into a dicey situation when they (separately) get involved the machinations of a wealthy man in a Crapsack near-future Earth. Things have gotten particularly nasty in this timeline, and Earth is a miserable colony of off-planet orbitals.
I originally thought that this might be a bit of a "fast follower" of William Gibson's work - another author saw what worked and decided, "me, too". But the tone and certain scenes and characters and even turns of phrase have stuck with me all these years and I recently loaned my aging copy to a friend. I admit that owe one or two tricks of my own novel's plotline to some of the ideas in this book. This book has a fair military bent but it's a story that feels true based on the strengths of the characters and the things they endure.
If Gibson's the razor-taut stylist who specializes in anti-heores, and Mick Farren infused everything with sex and corruption and denied heroism outright, Williams knack seemed to be in looking at what happens when even the idea of police is ludicrous. When some people on the job decide - quite against their interests - that there might be reason to deal with a situation quite out of their understanding let alone control.