Matt Ruff is one of science fiction and fantasy's most consistently brilliant and innovative authors, whose recent work includes The Mirage
(an incredible alternate history in which the Global War on Terror is kicked off when Christian crusaders from the blighted, tribal USA fly a plane into the United States of Arabia's Twin Towers in Dubai, giving the hawkish CIA chief Osama bin Laden the chance to launch the all-out war he's been champing for), and Lovecraft Country
(an anti-racist reimagining of Cthulhu set in Jim Crow America where the real horror is white supremacy -- now being adapted for TV by Jordan Peele
). In his new novel, 88 Names
, Ruff adds to the canon of MMORPG heist novels (Charlie Stross's Rule 34
, Neal Stephenson's Reamde
, and my For the Win
, to name three) with a unique take that he dubbed "Snow Crash meets The King and I."