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Cracheby Mark Budz
Synopses & Reviews
When the ecotecture starts to degrade on the asteroid of Mymercia — killing a workgroup on the surface — Fola Hanani miraculously survives. A former missionary, she's hacked a living out of a gengineered ecology built after the Armageddon of overheating, overpopulation, over-everything. Now she has to find out what's causing a catastrophic biosystem failure before everyone else on Mymercia is killed. Meanwhile, onworld, in a trailer park of migrant workers, a washed-out one-hit wonder named L. Mariachi plays the guitar for a community suffering from a contagious form of soul loss. It's a song that Fola's implanted IA — information agent — thinks she needs to hear. Because what is happening to these lost souls is spreading at quantum speed to everyone else. Something or someone is trying to reprogram the system with the ultimate virus. And as virtuality becomes reality in this post-ecocaust world of plug-in sex components, old-world medicine women, and the cheesiest pop culture, humanity itself is about to crash....
"Budz's first book, Clade, drew comparisons to William Gibson; his second proves that such claims were far from hyperbole. While Gibson twisted language to imagine technology evolved far beyond our present frame of reference, Budz instead fetishizes the wet areas where tech physically interfaces with people (Kevin Anderson coined the phrase 'BioPunk' to describe Clade). A challenge to both the imagination and the intellect, the first few chapters are dense with confusing jargon and unheard-of social schemas; readers are thrown into this brave new world without a guide (nor a glossary, for that matter, making at least one reread essential). But a story quickly emerges: at some point in the future, years after an 'ecocaust' has decimated the world we know and given rise to a tech-dependent society that barely resembles our own, a lethal virus is spreading among the workers on a populated asteroid called Mymercia, and threatens to worm its way through all humanity. In Budz's world, as in Gibson's, story takes a backseat to setting; this is not so much about the race against time as it is about a society that's fresher and far more arcane (neuroelectrical drug delivery, churches that own their parishioners, drugs that facilitate basic human relationships) than anything Terry Gilliam or George Orwell has imagined. Budz's unusual wordplay draws variously on the scientific rationality of Asimov, the drug-addled hangover visions of William Burroughs and the playful spirit of Dr. Seuss. Budz may be poised to become hard SF's next superstar." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Budz may be poised to become hard SF?s next superstar....[Crache is] A challenge to both the imagination and the intellect." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Budz's second glimpse of the bizarre post-ecocaust world of Clade...is one of gripping intrigue." Booklist
In Crache and its sharp prequel Clade, Budz has created a startlingly realistic vision of our possible future here on an ecologically ravaged Earth, in which social and ethnic hierarchies are rigorously enforced by nano and bio-technology.
About the Author
Mark Budz lives in northern California with his wife, fellow author Marina Fitch. His short stories have appeared in Amazing Stories and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. His first novel, Clade, was published by Bantam Spectra in December 2003.
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