Review: Deep State by Walter Jon Williams

I’m not planning to post lots of reviews here (see Criticality for my reviews), but occasionally I have one that’s lost its natural home. In this case, my review of Deep State was dropped from The Guardian as another reviewer had also covered it (these mix-ups happen sometimes). So here we go:

Walter Jon Williams’ near-future high-tech thriller opens with two CIA agents — sorry: “independent contractors” — losing an item of top secret software in the immediate aftermath of a military coup in Turkey. Meanwhile, Dagmar Shaw is running a large-scale alternative reality game, combining online play and hundreds of role-playing gamers travelling through Turkey as part of a tie-in with the new James Bond movie, filmed in Turkey before the coup. When Dagmar is invited to the palace of the new military leader she cannot say no, but when she does say the wrong thing she has to take on the government if the game is to continue. All this is only the beginning, however, in an uncannily timely story of a pre-Internet junta up against the revolutionary forces of the wired generation, with Dagmar and her team orchestrating a growing tide of demonstration against the Turkish government: popular revolution led by Twitter and flashmob. Williams’ novel has all the twists and turns you would hope for, with multiple layers of conspiracy played off neatly against Dagmar’s very personal story. And in the meantime, there’s the small matter of that top secret military software to recover from the junta…

 

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About Keith Brooke and infinity plus

Keith Brooke is a writer of science fiction, fantasy and other strange stuff, and editor and reviewer of same. He is also the publisher at infinity plus, an independent imprint publishing books by leading genre fiction authors. View all posts by Keith Brooke and infinity plus

One response to “Review: Deep State by Walter Jon Williams

  • Review: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi « all things keith brooke and infinity plus

    […] As I’ve said before, I’m not planning to post lots of reviews here (see Criticality for my reviews), but occasionally I have one that’s lost its natural home. This is another review that was dropped from The Guardian as another reviewer had also covered it (these mix-ups happen sometimes). So here we go: Paolo Bacigalupi’s first novel, The Windup Girl, was one of the most acclaimed science-fiction novels of recent years, winning five major awards and immediately identifying the author as one of the hottest names in the field. Ship Breaker, while less striking than Bacigalupi’s debut, shows that the acclaim was not misplaced, and has itself been shortlisted for the US National Book Award. […]

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