Second paragraph of third chapter:
The woman in the wheelchair hummed towards the receptionist’s station. ‘Iris Beckstein, to see Dr. Darling. He’s expecting me.’ She smiled at the secretary: the self-assured smile of the financially secure.
This is a compilation and revision of what were originally the fifth and sixth volumes of this series, following on from The Bloodline Feud and The Traders’ War, and laying the ground for the first in the next series, Empire Games. It is a very good romp through a slightly alternate early-noughties America, twinned with a couple of parallel universes where history worked out differently; in all three there are rapid and drastic changes of government, with extraordinary violence in our own world and a rapid turnover of US leadership. Stross maintains his fascination with economics and the management of intelligence services, and his central figure remains a largely sympathetic character trying to improve the worlds that she lives in but also getting to grips with her own limits. I may go back to Empire Games now, and look for the rest in the series. You can get it here.
This was my top unread book acquired in 2017. Next on that pile is Dawn of the New Everything: A Journey Through Virtual Reality, by Jaron Lanier.
This was also the first book I finished this month, posting this review on the 13th.