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Books : reviews

Dennis Danvers.
Circuit of Heaven.
Avon. 1998

rating : 3 : worth reading
review : 18 September 2005

Most of humanity has uploaded itself into a disease-, crime-, and death-free virtual existence in the Bin. The only holdouts are some fundies and other cranks in a rapidly deteriorating real world. Nemo is one of these. Then, on a visit to his parents in the Bin, he meets and falls in love with Justine, a new arrival. She can't leave, and he doesn't want to join. But their love is strong, and Nemo begins to question his resolution. Then he discovers that Justine isn't quite who she seems to be, and that various powerful factions seem to be hurrying his decision for their own reasons. And then it gets complicated.

This is a good page turner, packing some powerful tension towards the end. The author is careful not to explain how the Bin works, which is probably just as well. But he draws a rich world populated with strange Constructs, and a Bin with its own peculiarities that isn't the utopia it first seems to be. The clues about what is going on are sprinkled liberally, but with a light hand, so that you are always barely one step ahead of the characters. It's an interesting discussion of the reasons why people make irreversible choices -- and those reasons aren't always good ones.