After seeding a desolate world with the latest in twenty-third-century terraforming technology, entrepreneur Herb Kirkham returns to find his self-replicating machinery running riot over the planet, and an agent from the all-seeing Environmental Agency waiting to dole out punishment. Fortunately, Herb's skills are attractive enough to trade ignominious exile for participation in a deadly mission to thwart a swarming brigade of apparently alien spacecraft that threatens to envelop Earth. A trio of interwoven story lines follows Herb's misadventures in alien space while teamed with an agent who may not be human himself, the efforts of another entrepreneur a hundred years earlier to oversee human development of artificial intelligence (AI), and the fate of a mental patient in 2051 who hears mysterious voices. All three plotlines concern the rise of an AI-based life-form that may or may not have humanity's best interests at heart. Overflowing with provocative ideas, Ballantyne's debut displays enviable mastery of both suspenseful storytelling and technological extrapolation. Mark him as a writer of considerable promise. Carl HaysCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
TONY BALLANTYNE grew up in County Durham in the North East of England. He studied Math at Manchester University before moving to London for ten years where he taught first Math and then later IT. He now lives in Oldham with his wife and two children. His hobbies include playing boogie piano, walking and cycling.
Tony's short fiction has appeared in The Third Alternative
magazines, and in the anthology Constellations
edited by Peter Crowther.