Debut novel from the guru of fuzzy logic (the nonfiction Fuzzy Thinking, 1993). By 2030 the world's oil is running out, leading to conflict in the Middle East. Backed by Israel, John Grant has invented a ``smart'' molecule that splits water into hydrogen fuel and oxygen, and has a pilot plant up and running at Eilat. Then Sufi mystic, genius mathematician, and terrorist Hamid Tabriz destroys Eilat before grabbing Denise Cheng, John's lover and financial backer, in order to replace her brain with a super- microchip controlled by Tabriz. John is forced to kill Denise, though the unnamed US agencies that are keeping tabs on him seem curiously reluctant to get involved in the action. Later, the Israelis implant a chip in John's brain, so now his mind works at nanospeeds, while the Israelis control him via the chip--and use him as bait to tempt Tabriz out of hiding. But John's secret ally, Jism, an artificial intelligence he's created using the template of Victorian genius John Stuart Mill, can help him handle his new superfast intellect, evade the Israeli mindblocks, and zap Tabriz. Meanwhile, the Middle East conflict rapidly accelerates towards WW III. A brash, confused, and, well, fuzzy yarn that, with its relentlessly amoral inhabitants and doings, leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.