cover image Zero Bomb

Zero Bomb

M.T. Hill. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-78909-001-7

An innocent man is swept up in a plot to destroy technology and automation in this capable near-future debut thriller. Depressed by the death of his young daughter, Martha, Remi leaves his wife, Joan, and falls on hard times, making a subsistence living as a London bicycle courier. Years later, some mysterious strangers hint that Martha, who would now be 17, is still alive. Offered the chance to reunite with her, Remi agrees to work with a group of modern Luddites devoted to the anti-tech message of an old science fiction paperback. Suddenly Hill shifts the point of view to Martha, who’s living with a commune of lab techs who run a prosthetics factory. As a wave of anti-tech terror attacks tears the country apart, Remi arrives. Their uneasy reunion amid growing violence makes for an uneven story of survival and philosophical differences. Hill’s gritty setting is crisply drawn, compensating somewhat for the weak characters and plot. Fans of rich worldbuilding will find this a plausible vision full of intriguing ideas. (Mar.)