Michael Stephan Fuchs's 2006 novel The Manuscript is just what a technothriller should be: taut, violent, smart, and very, very technical. There's plenty of "technothrillers" where the two key elements -- weapons and computers -- are treated as magic stage-props, able to do anything (or be confounded by anything) that moves the plot along. They're written by writers who confuse "programmers" with "network administrators" and think that 200 years from now, "mainframes" will be important and sexy (rather than ancient and useless).
In The Manuscript, an enormous cast of characters comprising many sysadmins, many gun-freaks, several combat veterans, spooks from a number of agencies, named and unnamed, ten zillion cops, a group of murderous avenging Taoists, and Sir Richard Francis Burton and a group of Andean holy men who have discovered the secret of the universe.
Fuchs does a remarkable job of staying within the confines of what technology actually does (both the guns and the computers) while still putting together an immensely entertaining book filled with likable, bloodthirtsy people doing incredible things while the whole world is on the line.
It's everything a technothriller should be. I don't care much about guns, but I do know an awful lot about computers. Fuchs manages to make the gun geeking every bit as interesting as the computer geeking, which is the definitive sign of really good geeking. Hell, he even makes the philosophy geeking as interesting as the computers (he's got a graduate degree in philosophy and Big Questions are the Maltese Falcon of this book).
Though the technology is out of date (the story revolves around shenanigans on Usenet's alt.* hierarchy), The Manuscript packs several kinds of punch -- it's as if The Da Vinci Code had been written by someone who wasn't an idiot.
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We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
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We’re at the midway point of 2020. So…how’s the year going for you so far? Yeah…we can guess. But while there’s a lot about 2020 we can’t directly control, maybe a little retail therapy can help make you feel better. Sure, the 39 items we gathered together can absolutely bring a smile to your face. […]
When revved-up kids used to dribble a basketball through the kitchen or practice their footwork with a soccer ball in front of the television, exasperated parents would often just send ‘em outside to play. But these days, sending kids out might not be the best course of action. Despite all the changes, many budding young […]