Lewitt's (Memento Mori, 1995) near/medium-future cyberspace (though she avoids the term) yarn is set in Venice, where Septs dominate the computer software industry and tightly restrict access to the worldwide computer net. To test her fitness for promotion, Cecilie of Sept-Fortune is invited to crack a bank computer system designed and built by Sept-Fortune itself--a task that apparently violates all Sept-Fortune's own ethical codes. Deeply perturbed, Cecilie complies but loses confidence in her employer. Soon, she meets David Gavrilli, the maverick heir to a business empire who has fled his family in order to develop his own hacker expertise independently of the suffocating, monopolizing, Septs--and so he can play jazz, a music forbidden because of its anarchistic overtones in an age when orthodox music is merely a tool used to evoke defined responses from its audiences. When David's sponsor is murdered, he hires Cecilie to find out why and by whom. The Septs, meanwhile, are meeting to thrash out the details of a scheme to gain exclusive control of access to the computer net, a move naturally opposed by David and his terrorist associates. And during her researches Cecilie discovers that aliens have logged on to the system and are trying to build a communications protocol. Satisfyingly complicated, though the details are more for show than logical necessity, the immature characters soon grow tiresome, and the best idea here--aliens in the computer net--languishes undeveloped.