Another splendid outing for the talented Jeter (Infernal Devices, 1987), this time an exploration of a world-sized Cylinder built by some mysterious vanished civilization. Ny Axxter forsakes the dull toil of the horizontal levels to go vertical--live, that is, on the precipitous outer skin of the Cylinder itself!--where he ekes out a marginal existence as a ""graffex,"" a designer of loges and imagery for the various small-time warrior tribes that roam Cylinder's vertical face. Then he is tempted to do some risky design work for the Havoc Mass, Cylinder's second most powerful tribe (the Grievous Amalgam rule Cylinder from the highest levels). But Axxter has been betrayed, and soon the Havoc Mass are furiously chasing him down the Cylinder. Axxter falls off--only to be rescued by a weird, humanlike flying angel (he previously befriended her when she was injured in a mysterious explosion). He fetches up on Cylinder's unknown far side, where he's hunted by cyborgs sent by both the Mass and the Amalgam: through his computer links, you see, Axxter has learned that the universal and (supposedly) impartial information service, Ask & Receive, has been subverted by both gangs--who are secretly in cahoots! It's hard to see how Cylinder's economy operates, but Jeter's latest mad concept astonishes and intrigues as his sure-footed narrative stirs and fascinates. Grab!