INTERCEPTION by Graham Watkins


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 A third try at genre-jumping from computer/sex/romance/hi-techie Watkins (Virus, 1995, etc.)--a hokey, sentimental, but up-to-the-minute story of love, death, depravity, and software abuse on the Internet, Can one find true love on the Internet? Watkins dedicates his bouncy tale to those who have, informing us that the tender e-mail that he attributes to his fictional heroine Andrea Lawrence was actually written by his own wife during their Internet courtship. So it is foreordained that Lawrence, a beautiful psychologist curious about the addictive effect of Internet chat rooms, will, in the parlance of the Internet, hyperlink with Grant Kingsley, a rugged former Navy SEAL now working as a horse trainer on a California dude ranch. Lawrence is on the rebound from a bad relationship; Kingsley, a superdad to his teenage son Todd, is still haunted by his wife's death in a car accident. Kingsley and Lawrence meet in the Hall of Sadness, a computer-generated chat room with walls, doors, secret passageways and avatars--cartoon stand-ins that mask the chatters' identities. Nature, if not technology, would freely take its course for the lovers if not for Sue5, a part human/part computer intelligence enslaved by the sadistic boss of a supersecret hi-tech laboratory that kidnaps Internet lovers, literally plugs them into computers, and sells their services to businesses (and government organizations) that need lightning-fast data processing. Will true love help Kingsley and Lawrence escape being kidnapped by the villains and reduced to ``human interfaces''? Will love cause Sue5 to pity the pair, hack her boss to pieces, and help Kingsley use his SEAL talents to rescue Lawrence and blow the lab sky high? A passable fantasy that confuses technologically-assisted social pathology with a sane life. Too contemporary for science- fiction fans, and the reliably described Internet procedures are in danger of growing obsolete by the time the book reaches paperback.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-7867-0354-7
Page count: 416pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1997


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