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Hammerjack Paperback – 31 May 2005

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Amazon.com: 16 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
What's all this about? 29 Sep 2005
By Alexander Gitlits - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Marc D. Giller wrote a cyberpunk novel. A solid one, though not really original. I read it, and mostly enjoyed. What I don't understand, is what authors like Neal Asher and Richard Morgan doing praising this book?

Yes, the novel has cyberjacks, Yakudza, cool shades, kung-fu, etc. There are people, downloading data into their brains and running from the corporations (Johnny-mnemonic, anyone?)

There is nothing wrong with all of the above, but it had been done before. The fact, that there are two badass females, and not one, is not enough to make the book stand out.

Gibson made his world alive through good prose. Gillers' prose is... well, it just is. As the plot, it's not bad, but it's not inspired, either. I had a small problem, when the book set in the late 21st century started pop-culture references. I can buy Butch Cassidy reference for the merit of the movie. Batgirl - that's going on a limb. But Miss Congeniality? Does Mr. Giller really think that movie will be known 100 years from now?

This is all minor, but the thing is, there is nothing major wrong with this book. Or major right with it. Maybe for the post-matrix generation, who haven't heard of cyberpunk before, this book will be a revelation. But if you've read William Gibsons' "Neuromancer", then you don't need to waste your time on this copy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not Bad, Especially for a First Book 29 July 2007
By David A. Lessnau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading the Author's Note at the front of the book and finding that this was the author's first published book, I was a bit worried. That worry evaporated as soon as I started reading the text. It's a fine book with a decent plot and an interesting theme that follows along in Gibson's cyberpunk footsteps. My only problems with it are:

- The characters are a bit inconsistent in their personalities and behavior. It's odd, but it feels like the characters devolve throughout the book instead of evolve. I found them somewhat more interesting at the start and a bit flatter at the end.
- The pacing is OK. But, the "action" scenes (fights) are a little too drawn out.
- There are a few direct references to current pop culture which I doubt these types of people in a distant future would know (or care) about.

All of those things are fairly minor. Because of them, I'm bit leery of giving the book a full 4 stars out of 5 rating. Really, I'd like to give it 3.5 stars. But, since I can't do that, I'll be charitable and round up instead of down. A fairly good book. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel: Prodigal.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Stellar Debut 17 Aug 2005
By BLDERNNR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
HAMMERJACK is the crackling debut novel from author Marc D Giller. It opens with flare and doesn't slow down. It has all the ingredients of a cyberpunk showcase -- newly engineered drugs, bio-modified agents and hacking the matrix. But these far from detract from a fantastic reading experience, instead lending a wonderful flavour to a well-imagined dystopian future.

Cray Alden is a high-tech cowboy that is caught in a war between two factions, the Collective and the Inru. The Collective are a world-wide corporatocracy, direct opposition to the technology hating Inru, which are more of a fanatical religious sect than a government. When Cray messes up a hit on an information runner named Zoe who was carrying blueprints to a new technologically impressive innovation, he is forced into working with those he once hunted. It all steamrolls into a brilliant showdown between the Collective, Inru, and every grey fibre in between.

On a whole the novel is scrumptiously dark and chock full of circuitous twists and turns that can catch you off guard, though some I was able to see a mile away and was just waiting for them to be revealed. Marc D Giller's prose is sharp and focused with some scintillating descriptions. I did have an issue with dialogue at times. In certain situations I felt the characters were a tad melodramatic, saying over-the-top things when a sharp quip or brief comment would have sufficed. This is not to say dialogue was poor. In reality the dialogue was quite well engineered, though there were a few occasions that detracted from my enjoyment of a heightened situation.

It was great to see the few teaser pages from his follow-up novel, Prodigal, in the back of HAMMERJACK, though I would recommend avoiding those pages until you've completed the novel as there is a major spoiler within. This was a poor oversight on the publisher's end, and one I hope they don't repeat.

Great read. Recommended.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An exciting science fiction noir 27 Jun 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the far distant future, world governments have disappeared to be replaced by seven corporation s known as the Collective, the members from each forming the Assembly. It is a world where everyone is plugged into the information network and information is the king. Hammerjacks ride the waves to find out corporate secrets and sell it to a rival willing to pay a higher price.

Cray Alden is a corporate spy working for GenTech when he is assigned to bring back the runner Zoe who has in her bloodstream information that belongs to his boss. Cray finds himself in a tug of war between the opposing forces, the corporate Collective who has invested heavily in a synthetic intelligent computer and the Innu who sees that such an entity could replace man as the dominant species. While he tries to figure out is who he can trust, Cray is unaware that he is changing and to stop himself from becoming a danger, he must return to the source of the conflict, the self-aware sentient computer known as Lyssa.

The future that Mark D Giller paints is bleak, dark and plausible. With the advances in computer technology, a sentient AI doesn't seem like science fiction because the author, a computer systems techie, bases his work on technology known today that he takes to it's final conclusion. The protagonist is a man who realizes he is a prisoner of the corporation that hires him and feels very little, certainly not joy. HAMMERJACK is an exciting science fiction noir thriller that will appeal to fans who like to be taken to the edge and beyond.

Harriet Klausner
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
cyberpunk genre not quite dead yet 21 Feb 2007
By David Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You ever read one of those books where you start guessing what is going to happen next, and you're right? Well this was one of those books for me. Not that I'm clairvoyant, or possess any forecasting ability, but the book was so formulaic that guessing the turns in the plot simply could not be helped. Is that a bad thing? Not really. The book is very entertaining in a Matrix/Neuromancer sort of way, and is quite readable. Will I read the sequel? Absolutely, as I want to know where the author is going to take this. While not original, and you'll be able to cite obvious influences from other works, there just ain't much out there of this genre, and this one therefore is a satisfying read that measures up to the genre.
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