CYTHERA by Richard Calder


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Another near-future computer/robot/sex-grunge yarn from Calder, but not nearly as unpleasant as the author’s Dead Things (1997), etc. Here, Dr. Max Moroder, an “iatrogenic psychiatrist,” queer, and ex-inmate of Boys Town prison, wanders Antarctica (now a city complex) accompanied by Dahlia Chan, a sort of female virtual-reality Bruce Lee from the “fibrespace” of Earth2, who can incorporate on Earthl via her coffin-like Translator (but only at night). Ghosts like Dahlia enter Earthl via the Wound—until the authorities close the Wound, trapping Dahlia in Earth2; so Max, a.k.a. Jack Pimpernel, downloads himself to join her. Meanwhile, porno-queen Kito (her clients are Thai bigwigs) forces Mosquito (his alter ego is The Doll, a robot-like “gynoid”) to spy on a cult that is not only rich but may have developed a new weird-sex gimmick; Mosquito meets Lucrece Gladiatorix (she’s discovered a way to give ghosts new bodies, and is building a starship in the asteroid belt so that she and her companion, Tarquin, can go search for Cythera, or Earth3). At the same time, film producer Michael Flynn thinks he’s been abducted by aliens and imprisoned on planet Cythera with his companion Jaruwan; the two meet Dahlia and Tarquin, and. . . . Is it possible for any intelligent being to focus on, much less care about, any of this? More from the high mucky-muck of psychosexual cyber-solipsism.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18074-8
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1998


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