Nagata joins the growing ranks of sf authors inspired by the emerging science of nanotechnology. At the center of her brilliantly original first novel is a powerful, illicit device known as the Bohr Maker, a microscopic factory full of self-replicating machines programmed to transform a human host into a genius-level nanotech engineer. Nikko, a genetically altered resident of a space colony, is reaching the end of his built-in life span and is eager to procure the Bohr Maker, as much to save his own life as to break the stranglehold of Earth's ruling Commonwealth. Before he can lay hands on it, however, the Bohr Maker's earthbound owner is killed and its tiny machinery injected into the body of an ignorant, poverty-stricken woman named Phousita, which changes the destiny of everyone in unforeseeable ways. Nagata reinforces her compelling story line with a wealth of mind-bending ideas that make her work favorably comparable with that of leading-edge stylists such as Bruce Sterling and Neal Stephenson and sure to be popular with both critics and fans. Carl Hays
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