Earth lies prostrate beneath the lash of the Orbital powers, and Earth's Balkanized nations have no choice but to let the Orbitals plunder their remaining wealth. Below the zone of Orbital control, buttonheads, panzerjocks, dirtgirls, and hustlers scramble for their ticket out of the gravity well.
But now, if the criminal underworld and the guerilla underground can join forces, there is a chance to shift the balance of power—in a war fought on the ground by hardwired commandos, in the air by high-flying deltajocks, and by genius hackers in the neural interface.
As Roger Zelazny said, “Hardwired” is a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars—glittering, nasty, and noble—and told in a style perfectly suiting its content. It has all of my favorite things—blood, love, fire, hate and a high ideal or two. I wish I'd written this one.”
They call it Black Mind. Using this covert technology, Reno has written his own consciousness over that of Albrecht Roon, one of Earth's greatest enemies. A saboteur surrounded by enemies, he must act quickly, and without giving himself away, in order to turn the Orbital oppressors against each other and bring down their entire system.
He's living in a labyrinth of paranoia, surrounded by bodyguards and treacherous rivals. And then he discovers that Black Mind is not a complete success--- Roon still lives inside him, and Roon is mad.
This novella is the long-awaited sequel to Walter Jon Williams' classic novel Hardwired.
Steward is a Beta—a clone. In his memories, he's an elite commando for an orbital policorp—but because his Alpha never did a brain-scan update, Steward's memories are fifteen years out of date . . . and in those fifteen years, everything has changed.
An interstellar war destroyed the company that held his allegiance. His wife has divorced him, along with the second wife that he can't even remember. Most of his comrades died in a useless battle on a world called Sheol, and those who survived are irrevocably scarred. An alien race has arrived and become the center of a complex and deadly intrigue.
And someone has murdered him.
"Fast-moving, hard-driving, with a robust well-handled plot . . . a stirring and heartening performance." –Kirkus Reviews
"Walter Jon Williams proves that he is a master of action, character and galaxy-spanning plots." –Fantasy Review
"A combination of fast action, gritty realism, and high-tech polytechnics that is certain to be popular with Williams' growing audience." –Booklist.
"(Williams) is a master of the intricate yet fast-paced plot—the essence of thrillers and novels of political intrigue." –Locus