And the complete Agony Column review of Hammered is up. Rick Kleffel may be my Perfect Reader. He gets it. Good gracious me, he actually got what I wanted the worldbuilding to do.
But don't take my word for it. Go look for yourself:
In 2062, Jenny Casey is a veteran who has seen it all and left bits of herself behind, scattered across the globe. Unlike many, however, she got some pretty effective replacement parts, and they've served her well in her self-chosen career as a sort of enforcer for a beneficent gang-banger. But a bad batch of Hammer, the drug that helped her put a UN-issued boot heel in the faces of Americans rioting after a Fundamentalist Christian takeover, has showed up on her mean streets. She finds herself once again the object of attention of those who built her. It seems that she's survived a good deal longer than most of her ilk. The metal arm and other enhancements she received are apparently indicative of an innate ability to integrate the electronics of tomorrow into her all-too-human frame. Still, they're getting old, she's getting old and the bodies are getting cold. Someone has come to collect her.
'Hammered' starts to play out as an ultra-gritty police procedural, but as Bear's at-first opaque future takes off its shades, we see there's a lot more at work than a batch of bad drugs. Bear piles on the grim, the grubby and the moderately grotesque, and carefully plots the novel so that it takes a while to suss what precisely is happening and why. But you didn't want your future to be all sunny did you? If so, don't sign up for this hitch. Bear is apparently so familiar with darkness that she can elucidate many shades of black, and peel them away in such a manner as to keep the reader intrigued but still in the dark. And though the novel stays firmly in rooms without proper lighting, the plot and the science fiction eventually come out into the open.
Any comments about the unbelievable hypocrisy of Cheney's comments at Auschwitz yesterday are left as an exercise to the reader.
But dude. You don't wear your duckhunting clothes to a memorial service. Even *I* know that.