SFF

Nucleation

Tachyon. Nov. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781616963385. pap. $15.95. SF
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Helen Vectorvich, a veteran remote operator, is thrilled to be a part of the Far Reaches team constructing a wormhole engine for humans to reach deep space. From her coffin enclosure on the company campus she can inhabit and control robot bodies, called waldos, millions of miles away. The first mission goes wrong just minutes into a jump. Helen awakes in her spiderlike waldo to find her tools and even her body being eaten by tiny, dustlike creatures. Back in her own body at company headquarters she learns that her copilot navigator has been killed and her own life threatened. More die as Helen continues to jump back to Deep Space to figure out the mystery of the dustlike entities. Is the threat a new life form? Or sabotage from a rival corporation?
VERDICT Unger’s (The Gophers of High Charity) video game credits are well matched to this space adventure. Dialog among rivals, teammates, and machine interfaces keeps the story moving quickly. Recommended for fans of technothrillers and those who appreciate a strong lead character navigating readers through the technical bits.

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