Synopses & Reviews
The map of everything you know
everything you are
everything you ever will be
just got rewritten
A novel of hard SF exploring the nature of identity both inherited and engineered, from one of Britain's most acclaimed new talents.
In the near future, when medical nanotechnology has made it possible to map a model of the living human brain, radical psychologist Natalie Armstrong sees her work suddenly become crucial to a cutting-edge military project for creating comprehensive mind-control. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Jude Westhorpe, FBI specialist, is tracking a Cold War defector long involved in everything from gene sequencing to mind-mapping. But his investigation has begun to affect matters of national security throwing Jude and Natalie together as partners in trouble-deep trouble from every direction.
This fascinating novel explores the nature of humanity in the near future, when the power and potential of developing technologies demand that we adapt ourselves to their existence whatever the price.
"British author Robson's third novel to appear in the U.S. (after Natural History and Silver Screen) maintains throat-tightening suspense from its teasingly enigmatic introduction of its major characters to its painful conclusion that evil will succeed if well-meaning people try to achieve good at any cost. 'Matter is only energy with information and identity was only information' is the guiding hypothesis of a number of idealists attempting to improve humanity through 'Mappa Mundi,' a mind-altering program. FBI specialist Jude Westhorpe, who's part Cherokee, tracks soulless Mikhail Guskov, the mastermind of a plot to steal the program's secrets, while fey genius-level British psychologist Natalie Armstrong fights inner battles against a father she can never please and her own debilitating self-pity. Meanwhile, the CIA and Pentagon work on developing mind-control technology worse than anything George Orwell imagined in 1984. Shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award, this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Robson's take on the problems associated with anything that can rewrite a human personality is a complex one, and also a solidly written, entertaining story." Booklist
"A lyrical, attentively written anti-utopia. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly
"Robson brings together cutting-edge technology and the ethics of science to produce a fast-paced thriller featuring a pair of compelling protagonists. Cinematic detail and a well-plotted story make this a good addition to most sf collections." Library Journal
"[A] tensely paced and densely written novel, techno-thriller in substance but not at all in style....It is also a good read, which deserved its Clarke Award shortlisting." Strange Horizons
"Once in a great while you stumble upon a book that gets a firm grip on your imagination and just will not let go....Enter into that restrictive list Mappa Mundi, Justina Robson's exciting, new novel." SFSite.com
From one of Britain's most acclaimed new talents comes a novel of hard SF exploring the nature of identity both inherited and engineered.
About the Author
Justina Robson is an author from Leeds in Yorkshire, England. Her first novel, Silver Screen, published in August 1999 in the UK and in 2005 by Pyr, was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the BSFA Award, and was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award. Her second novel, Mappa Mundi, together with Silver Screen, won the Amazon.co.uk Writer's Bursary in 2000 and was also short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2001. A third novel, Natural History, a far-future novel, placed second in the 2004 John W. Campbell Award, was short-listed for the Best Novel of 2003 in the British Science Fiction Association Awards, and was nominated for the 2006 Philip K. Dick Award, receiving a special citation.