Nasir Deepra, an executive in the 23rd century, is an Agonist, a group of men and women who've outlived their usefulness and are bored with life. So they use their ample wealth to run into war zones-many of them in orbit around the now polluted Earth-and film their daring activities. They have a huge fan-base who watch them on the Net, too, and the Agonists revel in all of the attention. Nasir (the main character) is also in love with a beautiful physical therapist named Sheeba who hangs out with him because of his "multiplexed soul" and battered body-Nasir is 248 years old, kept young by nanotechnology that permeates every cell in his body. But when a war surf goes awry and the Agonists lose their first place position amongst other surfers, something drastic has to be done. So they decide to go to Heaven, a class 10 difficulty war zone (1 being easy and 10 being the toughest), in order to get back on top. Nasir is extremely hesitant to go, as he is on the board of directors that controls Heaven and knows why it's a class 10. But Sheeba helps talk him into going and it is here that everything falls apart ... Nasir and Sheeba are captured by workers who control Heaven. Nasir has to come to terms with what he and his corporation have been doing to the men, women and children onboard this satellite. Twenty-third century unethical and immoral issues attack Nasir every second: giving blood, helping "workers" (lesser people), and coming to terms with his age and lack of usefulness. A "disease" runs rampant amongst Heaven's workers, and Nasir and Sheeba might very well become infected. ___________________________________________________________________________________ Not having read any of this author's previously hailed works (HYPERTHOUGHT and NEUROLINK), I approached this science fiction work as a Buckner virgin. Being a bit of an SF buff myself, I always approach newly introduced authors to this genre with a grain of salt poised on my tongue. But here, I need not have worried. Buckner layers WAR SURF with so many ethical, moral and religious undertones that I dare say any reader will find enjoyment on some level within these pages. There's an underlying current dealing with mortality and the need for the rejuvenation of youth. There's advanced biological technology that may or may not be helpful. There's the recycling of humans in great nutrient vats. And, toward the end, there's the obvious "eat and drink of me and you will live forever" religious parallels to the Christian faith. This might sound a bit heavy-handed, but it's not. Buckner has complete control over the story and never preaches to the reader. WAR SURF unfolds in a first person narrative through the eyes of Nasir, and it is through him that we learn the ways of this time and this Earth. Not once did I feel that the author was forcing information onto me (something that's quite refreshing). My only beef with the novel would be that Buckner occasionally utilized 20th century
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
I love War Surf. The "head pictures" you'll get while reading this book are amazing. Great story and just the right amount of emotion. Wonderful, character-driven science fiction.
23rd century adventure
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
Buckner's new novel is set in the same post-environmental collapse world as her earlier Neurolink, this time among a group of aging executive-class extreme sports enthusiasts. They call themselves the Agonists, and their "extreme sport" is war surfing-taking fast, and thoroughly recorded, runs through the war zones of 23rd-century labor relations. Their leader is Nasir Deepra, two and a half centuries old, old enough that he lived through the collapse as an adult, and remembers an Earth whose surface was still habitable. Nasir and his aging comrades are at the top of their sport, but they have a weakness they don't recognize yet: Nasir is infatuated with a beautiful physical therapist, Sheeba, who's in her twenties, and too well-adjusted to regard him as anything other than a father figure. Nasir, in his dogged pursuit of Sheeba, will do anything to please or impress her, including strong-arm his buddies into including her on their war surfs. This quickly goes-somewhat humorously-wrong, knocking the Agonists out of first place, and in fact down to fourth place, in the standings but, after some stressful moments melding Sheeba into the team while fatally weakening Nasir's ability to veto a surf he knows will be disastrous, a surf of the orbital factory called Heaven. Nasir is chairman of the board of the company that owns Heaven, and he knows what none of the others do-what the labor dispute is about, and why Provendia is so very determined to hide it. When Nasir's suit malfunctions on the surf, and Nasir and Sheeba find themselves stranded inside Heaven, with its unexpectedly young and naturally suspicious prote ("protected employees", the 23rd century's lower classes) population, Nasir, the protes, and even Sheeba-the most sensible of them all-are in for some shocking and dangerous re-education about how the world really works, and the reader gets an exciting ride. There are some weaknesses here, and the ending is a bit heavy-handedly sentimental, but this is a fun book, and Nasir, with all his self-deceptions, is another believable, basically decent and likable character.
fabulous futuristic tale
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 18 years ago
In 2253, after almost two and a half centuries of living, Nasir Deepra is bored. The wealthy exec knows all the NEM treatments and replacement parts make him almost immortal, but nothing helps with the tedium until recently. For a couple of centuries he and fellow Agonists (Verinne, Kat, Winston, and Grunze) took pleasure jumping into the middle of the small wars between the workers and the Corporatists that they broadcasted live on the Net, but even with side wagers that has become dull. The exception occurred five years ago when he met physical therapist Sheeba Zee. He obsessively needs her though he hides his feeling from his Agonist teammates. Nasir and Grunze interfere in another battle, but this time the former calls Sheeba to make an appointment to see her in the midst of the action. When the scenario turns dangerous, he forgets to shut down the communication device so that Sheeba hears everything. As Sheeba learns her best client's darkest secrets, she seduces him to come with her to Heaven; though he goes with her over the objection of his four partners, Nasir knows this stop might prove his hell if he lives long enough to talk about it. M.M. Buckner's fabulous futuristic tale focuses on an intriguing "young" man who has found extended life exceedingly boring instead of addicting. The story line is character driven though the action is powerful and vivid. Readers will understand the subtle differences between the two century plus old quintet in comparison to twenty-something Sheeba. Fans will appreciate the other side of near immortality as the Paul Revere and the Raiders words "kicks keep getting harder to find" seem apropos. Harriet Klausner
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