Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy turns out to be an old man impersonating his own grandson. Girl discovers diabolical plot to sterilize the Third World. Boy erases girl's memory. Intrigue upon intrigue unfolds, involving an army of ninjas, talking sharks with arms, the peculiarities of telegraphy, and a virtual Rex Stout detective who lives in an old Macintosh.|
And that's just the setup for this well-developed, whip-smart mystery-thriller-love story from duo Larry Niven and Steven Barnes. But it's hard to imagine going wrong when you team up Niven's technology-loving optimism and legendary chops with Barnes's eclectic résumé (the guy's been everything from a karate columnist for Black Belt magazine to a scriptwriter for The Twilight Zone). Probably their best collaboration yet, Saturn's Race matches the pacing and unpredictability of Ken MacLeod's The Stone Canal while evoking the anything's-possible, shiny sleaziness of a Snow Crash near future.
Our protagonist--the boy-cum-grandfather--works on Xanadu, an OTEC-powered island-city floating just off Sri Lanka, part of a supranational corporate superelite. He's teamed up in a love triangle balanced by the girl who's mind he wiped and his ex-wife, a feisty security officer straight out of Stone Age Java. The population-control plot succeeds ("We can fight their grandchildren for air and water in thirty years, or we can reduce their numbers now"), but who knows what the puppet master behind Xanadu's all-powerful Council is really up to?
Source: Paul Hughes, Amazon.com.
Chaz Koto is a citizen of Xanadu, a near future perfect society hosting the wealthiest men and women on Earth. Along with his fellow citizens, he bears the burden of a dark secret that the outside world would be shocked to hear. Lenore Myles is a student who travels to Xanadu and becomes involved with Koto. When Koto unwittingly lends her his access codes, Lenore stumbles upon the grisly truth behind Xanadu's glittering facade. Lenore is soon on the run, hunted down by Saturn, a mysterious entity that moves aggressively to contain the security breach. With the interests of the world's wealthiest people at stake and powerful technology at Saturn's fingertips, Lenore is in a race for her life against a truly formidable foe.