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Like his peers William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, bestselling author Bruce Sterling writes cutting-edge speculative fiction firmly rooted in today’s reality. Now in The Zenith Angle , he has created a timely thriller about an information-age security expert caught up in America’s escalating war on terror.
Infowar. Cybercombat. Digital security and techno-terror . It’s how nations and networks secretly battle, now and into the future. And for Derek “Van” Vandeveer, pioneering computer wizard, a new cyberwarrior career begins on the fateful date of September 11, 2001.
Happily married with a new baby, pulling down mind-blowing money as a VP of research and development for a booming Internet company, Van has been living extralarge. Then the devastating attacks on America change everything. And Van must decide if he’s willing to use the talents that built his perfect world in order to defend it.
“It’s our networks versus their death cult,” says the government operative who recruits Van as the key member of an ultraelite federal computer-security team. In a matter of days, Van has traded his cushy life inside the dot-com bubble for the labyrinthine trenches of the Washington intelligence community—where rival agencies must grudgingly abandon decades of distrust and infighting to join forces against chilling new threats. Van’s special genius is needed to make the country’s defense systems hacker-proof. And if he makes headway there, he’ll find himself troubleshooting ultrasecret spy satellites.
America’s most powerful and crucial “eye in the sky,” the KH-13 satellite—capable of detecting terrorist hotbeds worldwide with pinpoint accuracy—is perilously close to becoming an orbiting billion-dollar boondoggle, unless Van can debug the glitch that’s knocked it out of commission. Little does he suspect that the problem has nothing at all to do with software . . . and that what’s really wrong with the KH-13 will force Van to make the unlikely leap from scientist to spy, team up with a ruthlessly resourceful ex–Special Forces commando, and root out an unknown enemy . . . one with access to an undreamed of weapon of untold destructive power.
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|Title of Science Fiction eBook: The Zenith Angle|
|Release Date: 04-27-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||The Zenith Angle|
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The Zenith Angle
NEW JERSEY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
With eager screams of hunger, little Ted Vandeveer drove his parents from their bed.
Dottie slipped a rubber-coated spoon between the infant's lips. Baby Ted blew out his chubby cheeks. Porridge spurted across the table.
Dottie scanned the mess. Her eyelids flicked upward meaningfully.
"Where's the au pair?" Van hedged.
"She didn't come in last night."
Van rose from his white plastic chair, and fetched a white paper towel. With the wisdom of experience, Van tore off a second towel for Ted to use as backup. Van still felt giddy inside his mansion's bright new kitchen. The new kitchen featured deep steel sinks, thick red granite counters, and a chromed fridge the size of a bank vault. When he'd signed up for a house renovation, Van hadn't known that New Jersey contractors were so enthusiastic.
At least, Van thought, Dottie approved of the changes in their house. The mansion's original kitchen had been a nightmare straight out of H. P. Lovecraft. Dottie's new kitchen was now the only place in the Vandeveer home where the plumbing worked properly.
On a corner of the new stove, a small TV played WNBC out of New York City. Van had hooked the set to a pair of rabbit ears. The township of Merwinster, New Jersey, lacked cable television. This was a serious blow to the Vandeveers, who were dedicated fans of Babylon 5, Red Dwarf, and The X-Files. But Mondiale was the little town's biggest employer, and Mondiale was in the broadband Internet business. Mondiale despised all cable TV outfits.
Van toweled up the baby's spew. Baby Ted enjoyed this fatherly attention. He kicked his chub