Grailer is a child prodigy, able to reach the forbidden Fourth Literacy with his computer access. At the age of nine he is rescued and trained by a variety of strange characters before the dreaded CIRCE agents can kill him. But once grown, he must eventually face his fate.
I really expected to like this book, given the other John Ford novels I've read and enjoyed. But I just couldn't get into it. Set in an unpleasant high-tech interstellar civilisation, where decadent long-lived humans seem to have nothing better to do than dress up, play games, and kill each other, it is told in a particular flowery elliptical fractured style that I find unrewarding to read. So I gave up at the end of chapter 6. (However, I did appreciate the fact that a plausible mechanism was put in place to allow the VR Hounds to kill a hacker through a computer terminal.)
Nicholas Hansard is a brilliant historian at a small New England college. He specializes in the life and work of the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe. But Hansard has a second, secret career with The White Group, a “consulting agency” with shadowy government connections. There, he is a genius at teasing secrets out of documents old and new. To call him merely a code-breaker would be an understatement.
When Hansard’s work exposes one of his closest friends as a Russian agent, and the friend then dies mysteriously, the connections seem all too clear. Shaken, Hansard turns away from his secret work to lose himself in an ancient Marlowe manuscript. Surely, a lost four-hundred-year-old play has nothing to do with a modern-day murder.
He is, it turns out, very wrong.
An excellent rites of passage novel, set on the moon, spoilt for me only by the fact that I didn't understand the ending.
A superior Star Trek novel, with ST:TOS characters appearing only in cameo, focusing on Klingons (before they were good guys).
The inhabitants of a planet rich in Dilithium wants neither the Federation nor the Klingons, so resorts to rather original tactics to discourage them. That notorious Star Trek novel of Gilbert and Sullivan slapstick.