McAuley, Paul Whole Wide World

ISBN 13: 9780002259033

Whole Wide World

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9780002259033: Whole Wide World

A chilling murder mystery and a gripping conspiracy thriller set in a world where information is the universal currency, and some people will do anything to be able to control it.

London, the second decade of the twenty-first century, two years after the InfoWar. The cameras are everywhere: smart, tireless, and linked together by the Autonomous Distributed Expert Surveillance System, a vast, cold, unsympathetic system that's still testing its limits. There's no escape from its gaze; everyone's a suspect. But there's a flaw in the system, a way of outwitting its gaze, and someone has been murdered because of it.

The InfoWar: high explosive and microwave bombs were set off by terrorists in the City; viruses shut down cooling fans inside computers and started thousands of fires; bank accounts ran back to zero; phone lines were randomly cross-connected; TV channels transmitted porn or insane rants by computer-generated talking heads; every traffic light in London jammed on red; the Internet went down.

Our narrator has kept his rank but not his status since he was seconded to the Information Technology section of the Metropolitan Police. He was badly wounded in the InfoWar and his superiors would rather he took early retirement. But he is called to the scene when Sophie Booth is found dead on a chair in front of three webcams, blood pooling beneath her. And in the ruins of the smashed computers and disabled cameras he sees a way to redeem himself and get back to active duty. So begins a very dangerous game for Minimum (our narrator’s nickname), especially since there’s no hiding from the CCTVs that are everywhere and in the control of people who would rather he did not solve the crime.

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Review:

Paul McAuley continues to show his SF versatility in Whole Wide World, a noir thriller opening in a near-future London where government obsession with pornography, surveillance and regulating the Internet still hasn't made crime go away. Quite the contrary.

When a girl is slowly, horribly murdered as a sick piece of performance art relayed by WebCams to the world, the undersized detective-inspector narrator becomes obsessed with this case. Though disgraced and stuck in the backwater of the Met's former Information Technology Unit (eclipsed by much sexier IT squads), he doggedly keeps following leads--including red herrings planted by hostile colleagues.

The killing connects to international porn barons, to the twilight world of thuggish "security" firms and contract killers, and to SF hardware secrets of the omnipresent street cameras that allow automatic 24/7 surveillance of absolutely anyone. Who is the "Avenger" who taunts the narrator with e-mail routed through anonymous data havens in prosperous, unregulated Cuba? Meanwhile, atrocities of the recent InfoWar--when data terrorists wreaked havoc on the City--still cast a long, unfair shadow over his career.

When this crime's deeper motives and implications become clear, there's further frustration. Certain villains are beyond British law, or above it. Even the UK government invokes all its powers of censorship to keep the lid on. It's entirely against orders that our DI hero flies to Cuba for a finale of high-tech shenanigans and violent action.

Despite the bleak background of Whole Wide World, there's a thoroughly satisfying outcome. A good, tough and thoughtful SF thriller. --David Langford

Review:

‘This is the big one. Fast, intense and right on the edge of the headlines.’ Greg Bear

‘Paul McAuley pulls off that rare balancing act of exploring big concepts while telling an absorbing and entertaining story’ New Scientist

‘Usually you get ideas or voice. With McAuley you get both – in spades. Without question the most exciting of Britain’s new-edge writers’ Michael Marshall Smith

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Book Description Voyager, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Whole Wide World This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780002259033

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Book Description Voyager, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Whole Wide World This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780002259033

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Book Description Voyager, 2001. Hardback. very good hardcover copy in a very good dustwrapper 1st edition. A chilling murder mystery and a gripping conspiracy thriller set in a world where information is the universal currency, and some people will do anything to be able to control it. Bookseller Inventory # FY16.268

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Book Description Voyager, 2001. Hardback. fine hardcover copy in a fine dustwrapper, scarce in such fine condition 1st edition. SIGNED. When a girl is slowly, horribly murdered as a sick piece of performance art relayed by WebCams to the world, the undersized detective-inspector narrator becomes obsessed with this case. Bookseller Inventory # FC11.210

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