Flash

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Return to the future of Archform: Beauty. In the twenty-fourth century, Earth is vastly changed. Ecological and biological catastrophe have raged across the planet, but for the survivors, it is a world of plenty. Even the poorest live in abundance, and the upper class -- the ascendant -- command technological marvels.

Ten years ago, Jonat deVrai was a rising star in the Marines. But he shocked his superiors by walking away from the Corps after witnessing atrocity and hypocrisy during the Reclamation of Guyana. Starting his life over, he established himself as the world's expert on the effectiveness of "prod"-- product placement, the only advertising which viewers will allow through the sophisticated filters they all use against unwanted intrusions on their electronic link networks. Prod, reinforced with sublims and the "res" -- resonant frequencies, a form of sonic branding -- is the wave of the future.

Jonat now advises multinational corporations on their prod campaigns, his busy life only occasionally disturbed by vivid flashbacks to his military years. Then his comfortable world is upset when the Centre for Societal Research approaches him to study the effects of res and prod on political campaigns.

After a res-heavy political rally for Laborite Republican Senatorial candidate Juan Carlismo, armed thugs jump deVrai in a parking garage. A day later, a sniper ambushes him. What looked like a safe, lucrative contract has suddenly turned dangerous. The stakes raise further when deVrai foils a remote-controlled cydroid assassination attempt on a Popular Democrat candidate. Cydroids built from deVrai's stolen DNA are turning up dead throughout NorAm.

Suspicion and conspiracy race around Jonat. Who wants him dead? Candidate Juan Carlismo's use of prod is skirting the limits of legality. The Centre has its own obscure agenda and may want deVrai as a martyr. The terrorist group PAMD is targeting ascendents in deVrai's family. And one of his clients is known for holding legendary grudges - could he have gone over the edge?

With his life on the line, deVrai must sort flash from fact before it's too late.

Flash is a blend of all-out thriller and thoughtful social, political, and technological exploration that that gets into your mind in a way even res and prod could never match.

"A marvelous thriller that plausibly extrapolates from current possibilities in IT, AI, media, and crime, it also constitutes the way for newcomers to get acquainted with Modesitt--at his best."--Booklist

Other Series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Saga of Recluce
The Imager Portfolio
The Corean Chronicles
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter
The Forever Hero
Timegod's World

Other Books
The Green Progression
Hammer of Darkness
The Parafaith War
Adiamante
Gravity Dreams
The Octagonal Raven
Archform: Beauty
The Ethos Effect
Flash
The Eternity Artifact
The Elysium Commission
Viewpoints Critical
Haze
Empress of Eternity
The One-Eyed Man
Solar Express

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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More by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

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3.7
9 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Macmillan
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Published on
Sep 1, 2004
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Pages
480
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ISBN
9781429913959
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Most readers recognize L. E. Modesitt, Jr., as the author of a favorite fantasy series, be it The Magic of Recluce or The Spellsong Cycle. It's always a special treat when he turns his hand again to science fiction and Archform: Beauty is no exception.

Four centuries in the future, the world is rich--nanomachines watch the health of the wealthy and manufacture food and gadgets for everybody--but no Utopia, as we see in the lives of five very different people. A singing teacher suffers for her music and fights bureaucracy and apathy. A news researcher delivers the essential background details but can't help looking deeper and wondering about the real story behind the grim incidents that make the headlines. A police investigator, assigned to study trends, begins to see a truly sinister pattern behind a series of seemingly unrelated crimes and deaths. A politician aids his constituents, fights the good fight, and tries to get reelected without compromising his principles. A ruthless businessman strives to make his family powerful, wealthy, and independent.

Theirs is a society where technology takes care of everyone's basic needs but leaves most people struggling to extract a meaningful life from a world crowded with wonders but empty of commitment and human connection. Alternating the voices and experiences of these five characters in a tour de force of imaginative creation, Modesitt overlaps, combines, and builds their disparate stories into a brilliant tale of future crime and investigation, esthetic challenge and personal triumph. In the same way that he has built fantasy landscapes of surpassing fascination, Modesitt creates a believable future, one imbued with a deep understanding of the way politics works and how people act and react when their sense of themselves, of justice and truth, is exploited by others for power and control. When there's nothing left to need or want, will beauty live on in people's lives or disappear forever?

L. E. Modesitt, Jr. asks difficult questions, sets himself unlikely challenges, and once again delivers an absorbing tale that enlightens, entertains, and uplifts all at once.

"Modesitt has outdone himself...This brilliant novel is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Other Series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
The Saga of Recluce
The Imager Portfolio
The Corean Chronicles
The Spellsong Cycle
The Ghost Books
The Ecolitan Matter
The Forever Hero
Timegod's World

Other Books
The Green Progression
Hammer of Darkness
The Parafaith War
Adiamante
Gravity Dreams
The Octagonal Raven
Archform: Beauty
The Ethos Effect
Flash
The Eternity Artifact
The Elysium Commission
Viewpoints Critical
Haze
Empress of Eternity
The One-Eyed Man
Solar Express

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller—a heist story set on the moon.

Jasmine Bashara never signed up to be a hero. She just wanted to get rich.
 
Not crazy, eccentric-billionaire rich, like many of the visitors to her hometown of Artemis, humanity’s first and only lunar colony. Just rich enough to move out of her coffin-sized apartment and eat something better than flavored algae. Rich enough to pay off a debt she’s owed for a long time.
 
So when a chance at a huge score finally comes her way, Jazz can’t say no. Sure, it requires her to graduate from small-time smuggler to full-on criminal mastermind. And it calls for a particular combination of cunning, technical skills, and large explosions—not to mention sheer brazen swagger. But Jazz has never run into a challenge her intellect can’t handle, and she figures she’s got the ‘swagger’ part down.
 
The trouble is, engineering the perfect crime is just the start of Jazz’s problems. Because her little heist is about to land her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself.
 
Trapped between competing forces, pursued by a killer and the law alike, even Jazz has to admit she’s in way over her head. She’ll have to hatch a truly spectacular scheme to have a chance at staying alive and saving her city.
 
Jazz is no hero, but she is a very good criminal.
 
That’ll have to do.
 
Propelled by its heroine’s wisecracking voice, set in a city that’s at once stunningly imagined and intimately familiar, and brimming over with clever problem-solving and heist-y fun, Artemis is another irresistible brew of science, suspense, and humor from #1 bestselling author Andy Weir.
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