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5542: Dead Air
Autor: Jak Koke
Rok wydania: 1996
Okładka: Doug Anderson
Cytat na okładce:
Can a Combat Biker superstar beat the odds in a high-stakes game of megacorp treachery?
Zespół combat bikerów Los Angeles Sabers gra ostro, ale gra, by wygrać, jak każdy zespół w lidze. ALe kiedy kolega z drużyny Jonathan Winger-a ginie podczas zderzenia z graczem innego zespołu, Jonathan chce zemsty. Do czasu, gdy odkrywa, że ta śmierć nie była wypadkiem. Teraz on jest celem, zmierzając z pełną szybkością ku odkryciu tajemnic, których poznanie może kosztować śmierć.
It's fast and furious inside the Combat Biker maze, where armor-plated hogs and juiced-up rice grinders blast, pound, and pummel each other for points. But it's just barely up to speed for Jonathon and Tamara, two elven bikers at the head of the Los Angeles Sabers. With a simsense link between them to act virtually as one, they've been tearing up the league and making headlines.
But all that changes when Tamara takes a brutal hit from the cybersspurs of Dougan Rose, lead linebiker for the New Orleans Buzzsaws and the most respected player in the league. When Tamara gets slammed Jonathon's out for revenge. But it isn't going to be easy. Because there a lot more to this sabotage than meets the eye - and if the megacorp agents, simsense industry operatives, and hostiles mages don't kill him, the truth probably will...
This is a nice break from the usual Shadowrun book. Most of them are about shadowrunners as they try to right wrongs by working outside the law in this distopian society. This one, though, is not primarily about shadowrunning at all. It's about sports.
A world as extreme as Earth in 2057 needs an extreme sport, and Koke has made one. (Or FASA did, in which case Koke has portrayed it well.) Combat Biking is dangerous, sometimes deadly, but it's well-described enough for the reader to see how it can be played, if someone were insane enough.
Dead Air follows one of the players of this game, one of the best. His partner just bought the big one on the court, and it was pretty clearly deliberate. There were hints that it wasn't just bad sportsmanship, though, and he wants revenge.
There is some shadowrunning in this, of course, but there's also a good deal of LA history revealed in the book. And the ending has a twist ou don't really expect, unless maybe you just watched the right 70's and 80's tv shows. A good addition to the series, this.