All setup with no payoff.

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INFINITY LOST

From the Infinity series , Vol. 1

A teenage girl’s mysterious dreams suggest her past isn’t what she remembers.

Infinity “Finn” Blackstone’s the daughter of Richard Blackstone, owner of Blackstone Technologies, the most powerful and advanced technology company in the world, but she doesn’t even know her brilliant but reclusive father. After a life without dreaming, she suddenly starts dreaming exact memories, reliving days that really happened—but the dreams end up including disturbing twists that feel real. In between the flashback dream sequences, Finn attends a ritzy private school populated by cardboard mean girls and jerks and where she vies mildly with her best friend over the romantic attentions of a handsome new bad-boy transfer student. The school rewards top performers with a field trip, and this year it is to Blackstone’s facility—meaning Finn might get a chance to see her father. The present-day action doesn’t begin in earnest until very late in the book. In order for the action sequences to go forward, however, adult characters must make what appear to be bafflingly, implausibly bad decisions. The lack of subtlety in the foreshadowing prevents any twists from surprising. The ending aims for cliffhanger but comes across as abruptly incomplete—although some of the yet-to-be addressed questions might ultimately match the promise of the futuristic, corporate-oligarchy owned world.

All setup with no payoff. (Science fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5039-4507-4

Page Count: 262

Publisher: Skyscape

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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An inspired and brilliant paean to the old millennium and harbinger of the new, brimming with wit, flair, and insight: Y2K’s...

ZEITGEIST

Turn-of-the-millennium spectacular, from the estimable Sterling (Distraction, 1998, etc.). Impresario Lech “Leggy” Starlitz arrives in the impoverished Turkish half of Cyprus (“Houseplants had eaten all the homes. Feral lemons and oranges supported a miniecosystem of rats and stray dogs”) ready to launch his girl band, G-7, at the Islamic world. The girls, known by their nationalities (the French One, the American One, etc.) can’t play or sing, though Leggy knows it’s not about music but concept. He has only one rule: it ends at Y2K. His new partner is Mehmet Ozbey, a handsome Turk with friends in the secret police and ways to launder money. To Mehmet, Leggy makes one further stipulation: none of the girls must die. Then Leggy discovers he has a daughter by his lesbian ex: 11-year-old Zeta loves G-7 and has telekinetic abilities—so long as there are no recording devices in the vicinity. And soon, despite his wheeling and dealing with Russian gangsters, Leggy’s squeezed out by Mehmet. He decides it’s time to disappear, so he smuggles himself and Zeta into the US in order to contact his father. The latter, having been at ground zero in the first nuclear bomb test, has become delocalized in time: he exists “anywhen” in the 20th century and speaks entirely in palindromes. Thereafter, Leggy turns straight, working in a 7-11, sending Zeta to school—until he learns that Mehmet intends to continue G-7 into the next millennium; worse, he has allowed some of the girls to die. Time for Leggy to intervene.

An inspired and brilliant paean to the old millennium and harbinger of the new, brimming with wit, flair, and insight: Y2K’s Catch-22.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2000

ISBN: 0-553-10493-4

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Spectra/Bantam

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

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NEBULA AWARDS 32

paper 0-15-600552-2 The 1996 awards, as voted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Esther M. Friesner (“A Birthday”) carried off the Best Short Story Award for the second year running; Bruce Holland Rogers captured the Best Novella Award with “Lifeboat on a Burning Sea”; and editor Dann’s “Da Vinci Rising,” a spinoff from his alternate-world novel The Memory Cathedral (1995), claimed Best Novelette. Best Novel winner Nicola Griffith (Slow River) is represented by her 1995 novella finalist, “Yaguara.” Finalists Harry Turtledove, Dean Wesley Smith, Paul Levinson, and Jonathan Lethem also appear, as do Rhysling Award (poetry) winners Marge Simon and Bruce Boston. “The Men Return” represents Grand Master winner Jack Vance, while Robert Silverberg and Terry Dowling sing his praises. Bill Warren heroically watched all the year’s movies. Also, nonfictionally, Lucius Shepard gloomily records the death of literary science fiction; Norman Spinrad gets hissy about authors who rent out their creations (“evil stuff”); and Elizabeth Hand growls that fiction itself has become “a barrio of the entertainment industry.” Keith Ferrell tracks sf via the Web; Robert Frazier recites sf poetry; Ian Watson keeps a stiff British upper lip; and cobbers Terry Dowling and Sean McMullan do Australia. Read. Enjoy. Just don’t mention “franchising” if Norman Spinrad’s within earshot.

Pub Date: April 17, 1998

ISBN: 0-15-100306-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1998

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