Sundman is a master of machines — computing, biological and political — and his books include details that will convince an expert, and yet enchant a distant outsider with a compelling page-turner plot. Not just plot and mechanisms, but unforgettable personalities that haunt us long after the pages stop.” — George Church, synthetic biologist, Harvard and MIT
The visionary thriller about nanomachines, neurobiology, and a Silicon Valley messiah
Winner of the Writer’s Digest National Self-Published Book Award
“. . . a book infused with a sensibility that you don’t normally expect a ‘hard science fiction’ novel to have: real emotions, real heartbreak and a real sense of the craziness at the core of the human condition.”
–Andrew Leonard, Salon
“. . .your everyday story of bioengineering, Gulf War Syndrome, Trojan Horses, and millennium cultists. If you haven’t yet read this classic underground thriller cum paranoid fantasy, do yourself a favor; it’s pretty great. A satisfying suspense thriller that is disturbingly thought-provoking.”
— Web design guru Jeffrey Zeldman
“What Tom Clancy would write if he were smart.”
–Jeff “Hemos” Bates, Slashdot
March 1990: Hundreds of thousands of American-led forces assemble in Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm, the largest military operation since the Normandy Invasion. Meanwhile, across the globe in Massachusetts, in a former textile mill that’s been converted to the home of legendary computer company Digital Microsystems, computer designer Todd Griffith is working late, trying to find out why his “Kali” chip keeps failing. He discovers a secret function hidden among the circuits — sabotage. Seven hours later he’s shot as he lies sleeping in his bed.
December, 1995: After a grueling week in the Silicon Valley fast lane, burnt-out bi-coastal software engineer Nick Aubrey boards a flight to Boston and winds up seated next to a very disturbed man who claims to know the secret of Gulf War Disease, the mysterious ailment afflicting thousands of Desert Storm veterans. Over Utah, Nick’s chance companion meets his dramatic demise and the police suspect Nick of murder.
Soon everybody wants a piece of Nick—from the police to the CIA, from billionaire venture capitalists and paranoid cybermilitiamen to end-of-the-millennium cultists and exotic foreign beauties. The only person who doesn’t want a piece of Nick is his distant wife, a beautiful biologist with a secret of her own.
In freeing himself from a web of murder, deceit and double-crosses, Nick learns that the key to Gulf War Syndrome resides in a pharmaceutical laboratory in Switzerland, where scientists are frantically working on submicroscopic machines to rearrange human DNA. When their work is done, the Gulf War will look like child’s play. Only Nick can stop them. But first he’s going to have to find the Trojan horse hidden in the Kali chip. He can’t do that without the help of his friend Todd. And Todd’s been in a coma for nearly half a dozen years.