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A Mean Street, But Worth the Trip

By Ysabetwordsmith, member

Jul 14, 2010: It’s a mean "Street" out there, but fun to watch from a safe distance. This story has a short setup leading to a long, sharp drop into fast-paced action.

The viewpoint character, Gina, is a prostitute who sells not sex but something more intimate. She scans people’s thoughts and emotions with the help of a drug called Spice. Unlike some of the strung-out telepaths on the Street, Gina is good at keeping her head on her shoulders. Unfortunately, that’s not enough.

A mysterious fellow named Bomber offers her a week’s worth of money for a full night’s work. (That’s usually a sign of trouble.) But when Gina tries to touch the target’s mind, she falls into a morass of insane images—and he somehow realizes what she is doing. Before long, Gina and Bomber are fleeing for their lives as Gabriel sends his men after them.

"Street" is cyberpunk, but I like it better than I do most fiction in this genre. There’s something a little more real about it —the careful precision of the details, a better balance between the grim-and-gritty cyberpunk tone and the sense of wonder that characterizes most speculative fiction. There are moments of humor and whimsy amidst the violence. The city is not all bleak, but has touches of charm. And the story, while it proceeds at a breakneck pace most of the time, occasionally pauses for a breath.

Cyberpunk fans will enjoy this story. It’s also worth a look if you enjoy corporate espionage or intrigue, and the darker flavors of science fiction. The first book, "Empathy," is already complete and the second, "Clairvoyance," is in progress.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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