A rare foray into science fiction for the British horrormeister (the Necroscope series, etc.). Toward the end of the 22nd century, a period devastated by the Plague Wars, longevity is commonplace and immortality itself within prospect, thanks to the steady advances in medical biotechnology made by such giant companies as PicoCon. After retired researcher Silas Arnett is grabbed by the Eliminators, a terrorist group dedicated to exposing the role that long-lived string-pullers like Silas played in the Plague Wars, Interpol’s Inspector Yamanaka quizzes VR engineer Damon Hart. Damon’s godfather is Silas Arnett, you see, whereas his biological father was the famous Conrad Helier (Conrad saved humanity after the plagues caused global sterility). Damon knows nothing about either the Eliminators or about Silas’s work, although his other surviving godparents, Karol Kachellek and Eveline Hywood, are very cagey about their own current researches. Silas’s kidnapper then announces that Conrad Helier, despite solid evidence, isn’t dead, and that both Conrad and Damon are on the Eliminators’ hit list! Who’s behind the kidnap? Could it be Conrad’s old rival Surinder Nahal (he’s vanished) or PicoCon itself? And why? Well, after a tedious series of bluffs and double-crosses, and several more deaths that aren’t, Stableford provides answers, but by this time few readers are likely to care. Smoke-and-mirrors plotting, turgid with exposition—at one point Stableford. takes two pages to tell us that a building resembles a termite mound—and entirely untroubled by fresh or innovative thinking.