Last Tango in Cyberspace
By Steven Kotler
Steven Kotler’s latest book is set in the near future and includes a lot of what is now drawing-board tech. It’s a world advanced enough to seem strange, but fans of William Gibson should feel at home in the surroundings.
Judah “Lion” Zorn is what’s known as an empathy tracker: a next-generation coolhunter with extra-sensory powers that allow him to feel the next big thing coming before it arrives. This makes Lion much in demand among corporate types, and as the novel gets started he’s been called in by a giant pharmaceutical company to make sense of some strange happenings.
The whirlwind plot takes the frequently doped-up Lion all over the world, encountering various exotic characters and groups connected to a scheme involving arguments over animal rights and empathy’s role in evolution. At times things can get hard to follow, especially given Kotler’s fractured, high-speed prose and the penchant his characters have for indulging in lots of semi-obscure cultural references. Hold on to the thread though and the novel goes to some interesting places.