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One Jump Ahead


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About the Author

Mark L. Van Name, whom John Ringo has said is "going to be the guy to beat in the race to the top of SFdom," has worked in the high-tech industry for over 30 years and today runs a technology assessment company in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. A former Executive Vice President for Ziff Davis Media and a national technology columnist, he's published over a thousand computer-related articles and multiple science fiction stories in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including the Year's Best Science Fiction. Jon & Lobo stories have appeared in a Baen anthology and Jim Baen's Universe.


Military SF fans will welcome Van Name's solid debut, the first in a projected series, though they should be prepared for a layer of irony rare in this popular subgenre: the introspective hero's most complex relationship is with his artificially intelligent tank, Lobo. Jon Moore, a soul-weary soldier with a nanotech secret, becomes involved against his wishes with an effort to rescue a kidnapped innocent. As usual in a corporate-dominated multiple-worlds setting, double- and triple-crosses complicate what should be a simple task. Old vet buddies get involved, and space jet-setting corporate elites receive righteous (and occasionally misdirected) vengeance. Jon finds time to appreciate the mysteries of the universe and muse on the hollowness of his mercenary lifestyle. An attention to the details of future military tech and service, along with several scenes of them in action, will reward those expecting the more standard military SF for which Baen is known. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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