‘Fools’ is a prime example of Pat Cadigan’s writing; intuitive, great world-building, very strong characterisation and dialogue, and very much cyberpunk – in this case, a kind of cyberpunk noir.
From the very first page, we are dropped into a fully-realised futuristic world, yet one which is immediately recognisable as our own. Cadigan leads us down filthy, neon-lit streets, shows us people suffering the effects of drug abuse or mental breakdown, and introduces something that at the time of publication (1992) would have sounded almost inconceivable: ‘jacking in’ to a virtual world. The underlying tech for this process has been well thought through and is never jarring – essential, when the plot relies on it so heavily.
There’s also some lovely satire about class, the powers and practices of police, and the entertainment industry, along with some lovely philosophy about what it means to be human – and the boundaries and / or links between us all.
But it’s Cadigan’s added touches which finesse this creation of hers: the groups and subgroups with their differing behaviours, styles of dress, and slang. The following of current-at-the-time-of-writing lifestyle trends, ideas and consumer items to their logical conclusions – strange as some of those outcomes might be.
I highly recommend this book if you like your storylines layered, complex and shifting; if you don’t, this one may scramble your brain a bit!
But isn’t that one of the things that great SF is brilliant at?
When Marva, a Method actress, wakes up in the hologram pool of a private club, dressed head to toe in expensive new clothes, and carrying more money than she’s seen in years, it’s clear something has gone very wrong.
The murder she now remembers can’t be good news either.
Finding herself pursued by deadly assassins, and starting to question every fact of her own identity, Marva must venture deep into the Downs of the city to unravel the mystery of what is happening to her. One thing, though, is abundantly clear:
This will be her most difficult role yet.
I do not get paid for reviews or blog tours and this is my honest feedback.