Two works in one volume: An innovative science fiction novel about an inventor’s quest for redemption across a cyber-feudal Japan, plus a Hugo Award–nominated novella.
Design student Ethan Ring has created the next wave in military technology. Fracters are computerized images that can control the minds of others, giving their users the power to hypnotize, hurt, and even kill.
The reigning intelligence agency forces Ring to use the technology for their own ends by tattooing the most potent images on the palms of his hands. After witnessing the destruction his invention has wrought, Ring embarks on a Shikoku pilgrimage of redemption through the eighty-eight sacred sites of Shingon Buddhism across twenty-first-century Japan.
With the help of his friend Masahiko, Ring tours this strange new Japan in search of ways to rid himself of the curse he has unleashed—or a way to use it for the greater good by eliminating a terrorizing crime syndicate.
In Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone, author Ian McDonald has created an indelible cyberpunk adventure that mixes Kabbalah, manga, pop culture, and Zen in a superbly realized high-tech contemplation of good and evil.
Also included in this volume is McDonald’s The Tear, a stunning novella set in a far-future world, whose inhabitants develop multiple “aspects”: completely separate personalities that take over when required. The story follows young Ptey as he comes of age, takes on new aspects, looks for love, and plays a vital role in a battle against an implacable enemy. The resulting work is tragic, hopeful, and expansive.
Readers of William Gibson and Peter F. Hamilton will revel in this fascinatingly inventive work from a celebrated multiple-award-winning science fiction author.