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Déjà Vu



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Success Stories

by Ian Hocking

dejavu.jpg

ISBN 1-904781-15-2
UKA Press, 2004
296 pp, paperback
Retail price £9.99

 

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This is a science fiction novel. This is a chase novel. This is a multi-stranded, complicated novel that defies understanding at times, but is still fully involving and provides a very clever and satisfying denouement.

David Proctor returns to the scene of the West Lothian Centre. This is an underground research facility that has previously been bombed, possibly by David Proctor, although he denies this. People die and David meets with his old friend Bruce Shimoda inside the virtual world of a computer environment created by nano-robots. There is a second explosion, this time definitely created by David and he is arrested.

He subsequently escapes via a glider and gets involved in a motorbike pursuit, a meeting with an underage thief masquerading as a prostitute and various conversations with his personal computer.

Meanwhile, he is being pursued by one Saskia Brandt who has had her memory erased and a second personality installed including detective abilities and technical skills.

Eventually the pursuit brings David, Saskia and David's daughter Jennifer, who is also a scientist working on something secret that will provide both the denouement of the story and its title, together. What happens then is something for you to find out.

This novel works. The writer's style is consistent with his content and the story fair speeds along. It is confusing at times, but that is only because we are not given all the facts at once. This means that when we do find out what has been going on, we can happily exclaim: "of course!"

Science fiction does not work for everyone and this book, with its sentient computers, nano-technology, brain-wipes and that other thing I won't mention, will not be to all tastes. It was to mine though and, if you're that way inclined, I confidently predict it will be to yours too.

Open Book

Review by Chris Williams