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
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
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.