The Zenith Angle by Bruce Sterling

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Bruce Sterling

See more books from this Author
Bruce Sterling is the author of the nonfiction book The Hacker Crackdown, as well as the novels Holy Fire, Heavy Weather, Schismatrix, and Islands in the Net.  With William Gibson he co-authored the acclaimed novel The Difference Engine.  He also writes popular science and travel journalism.  He lives with his wife and two daughters in Austin, Texas.From the Paperback edition.
Published April 27, 2004 by Del Rey. 352 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Zenith Angle

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Geeks got muscles: Mainstream yarn about computer security and surveillance, from the leading SF writer and futurologist (Zeitgeist, 2000, etc.).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Zenith Angle

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

The godfather of cyberpunk abandons SF in this satiric look at the high-tech security industry after 9/11. Dr. Derek Vandeveer gives up his high-paying job in private industry in order to try to he

Apr 05 2004 | Read Full Review of The Zenith Angle

Bookmarks Magazine

Despite his uneven pacing, Sterling crafts his thriller with plausible characters (Van is no James Bond) and scenes (of course Van can’t install firewalls in systems without walls!).

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Zenith Angle

Reader Rating for The Zenith Angle

An aggregated and normalized score based on 38 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review