Eos, May 2004, 25.95, 480 pp.
Over a millennium into the future, the Met sentient super cables interweave the inner planets while the grist nanotechnology facilitates communication throughout this segment of the solar system. Within the Met, some humans including dictatorial Director Ames have become many Large Array of Personalities better known as LAPs. Freedoms already curtailed are becoming even fewer as Ames increases his tyrannical powers through his Department of Immunity that controls the Met.
The outer planets continue to serve as frontiers where freedom blossoms due to the Free Converts, the Cloudships, and other like souls. Ames wants control of the outer planets and if that is impossible their destruction. He deploys his military.
In the outer planetary orbs, Colonel Roger Sherman leads the defense, but his son Leo joins the invaders. However, the outcome may lie with physicist Li whose research may give Ames the boost he needs as she is closing in on faster-than-light travel. To ensure her loyalty he has absorbed her lover and addicted her to electronic Glory.
SUPERLUMINAL is extremely complex military and social science fiction that extrapolates much of current day physics theories into a future solar system as he has also done in the terrific first book (see METAPLANETARY). However, the story line contains the mid book syndrome as nothing is resolved though new subplots like that of Li's has begun. Still the insightful look at a future in which totalitarianism vs. freedom (place World War II in outer space 1000 years into the future) displays Tony Daniel's clever nightmarish vision of what is to come though this book is filler waiting for the confrontations to occur.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner