Multireal by David Louis Edelman (Jump 225 2)

If Infoquake was cyberpunk-business then Multireal is cyberpunk-politics.

I am afraid I didn’t like Multireal as much as Infoquake. Maybe it is suffering from sequel sickness. Everything was new and fresh in the first book. David Louis Edelman invented a whole new cyberpunk-business kind of science fiction with Infoquake.

Maybe it is the character’s helplessness. In Infoquake Natch and his team kicked the oppositions ass. Here the team crumbles, the Defense and Wellness Council foils them at every point, taking the fiefcorp from Natch, leaving Jara in charge. Natch himself only react. I am unhappy for Jara in this book, she was the only likable character in Infoquake, here she is more the object of others manipulation than being the actor herself, perfectly in line with the story mind you. But I liked the taking-charge Jara from the climax of Infoquake. I have hopes for her in the final book of the Jump 225 trilogy: Geosynchron.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a great story, but I am not happy about our protagonists.

At the center of the story is a new technology Multireal, that allows users to iterate through possible outcomes of an action and choosing the one with the preferred outcome. Used as a weapon in war or as a tool for oppression it would be unstoppable. Using it in everyday life would be a game changer of world shattering proportions. Infoquake introduced the technology and Multireal is about who should be in charge of it. The Defense and Wellness Council wants to suppress it and maybe use it to take control of society. Against them is Natch and his tiny fiefcorp, Natch is not totally defenseless, he ruthlessly uses both friend and foes, not stopping at worldwide insurrection to archive his goals. He also have Margaret Surinas, the inventor of Multireal, legacy on his side.

There are other players behind the scene and by it’s side. The world is about to change and Luddite groups are on the march, increasing their attacks. Then there is old enemies. Natch have gone through life making enemy after enemy and never looking back. Now when he is playing for higher stakes than ever, those enemies will come back to haunt him.

There are no space battles in this book but there is a firefight of epic proportions. And the twists and turns the story takes are as interesting and thrilling as any space opera.

One of David’s strong point is the world building, he creates a believable and complex future world. With well thought out institutions, government and technology as are further explained in the appendixes to the book.

Multireal is the middle book in a truly epic trilogy and if you are seriously into science fiction you should read it and it’s prequel Infoquake because it is a game changer.