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Author Jane S Fancher

Title Harmonies of the Net

Reviewer stranger

Genre science fiction

Kink M/M
hints of BDSM

Grade ***--  Okay

Explicitness inexplicit sex scenes, some that hint at BDSM, some that don't

Summary The universal datanet that holds civilization together has displayed some glitches, arousing panic among the 'net programmers who believe they hold civilization together. Steven Ridenour, whiz-kid newly-minted doctor of 'net programming has been sent to a research community on HuteNamid to meet with J. Wesley Smith, a researcher living there who might have a fix for the eroding datanet.

The planet HuteNamid contains more than either of them bargained for. Its colonist community are re-creating Native American ways of life, emphasizing spiritual connection with natural environment. Nayati Wakama and Anevai Tyeewapi are among the people Wesley knows and Steven meets on the planet. They have their own ideas about the datanet problem and its solution, and both react strongly to Steven Ridenour, as does Wesley Smith.

The central government of the galactic civilization is anxious for Ridenour to solve the datanet problem and has sent further agents to put pressure on him. This, and his discoveries on HuteNamid, bring Steven Ridenour to unbearable and nearly deadly recollections of his past.

Longer summary

Quality Large-scale, vivid storytelling with several simultaneous storylines handled deftly. Heavy angst (if you like that sort of thing) at every turn. Interesting use of American Indian cultures, recognizing both the diversity and essential strengths. Unemphatic acceptance of sex and bisexual characters in the narrative: it's the events and associations with sex that make it traumatic or celestial.

The galaxy created in the three-book set has a well-detailed social organization which contributes to the tensions of the plot, although reading only the third book may leave the reader struggling to catch up.(On the other hand, the first book of the set begins by dumping the reader into the middle of a situation without glossary or guide; exposition of a complex situation is given only sparingly and late.)

If you have a limited tolerance for angst, there is very heavy angst at every turn, and a continuous and perhaps excessive turning of the screw to higher and higher tension created from unexpected revisions of the past from the viewpoint of an abused child's revealed memories.

Sequels/prequelsThis book is the 3rd of a three-book series:

#1 Groundties (go to Amazon)

#2 Uplink (go to Amazon)

#3 Harmonies of the Net

Warnings Jump to warnings (may contain spoilers)

Gay Sci-Fi:
    Gay Fantasy:
    Gay Mystery:
    Gay Humor:
    Gay Thriller:

Warnings (may contain spoilers) sexual coercion, high angst level, severe emotional deprivation, memories of nonconsensual sex during the character's childhood, drug use

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