Random House (2002)
As a programmer for Galapagos Wetware, Hal Briggs is responsible for writing the genetic code for simple, efficient creatures to be employed in menial jobs–sweeping streets or washing dishes. But the demands for “wetware” are changing, and Briggs is given a project that calls for more sophisticated models: clients are demanding more human appearance and behavior.
As the project progresses, Briggs finds himself endowing the new models with more than the specifications dictate, giving them distinct personalities and talents and highly developed acumens. When two of his pet projects, Jack and Kay, escape, Briggs reexamines their codes and makes a terrifying yet provocative discovery.
From Craig Nova, a master of the modern novel, comes a tale eerie in its vision of a future not far off, of a world precariously close to today’s.
“A haunting, heart-stoppingly exciting, brilliantly structured novel of suspense, ideas, and subtle characterization. . . . You can’t stop reading.” –Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
“If there is a scintilla of justice in the literary universe, more readers will finally sit up and take notice of this wonderfully gifted writer.” –Dorman T. Shindler, The Denver Post
“A constant thrill, a constant surprise . . . witty, marvelous, poignant.” –Ken Tucker, The Baltimore Sun
“Dealing with issues as hot as today’s headlines, Wetware explores the essence of what it means to be human.” –St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“[Wetware is] the wonderfully entertaining, and powerfully composed, invention of one of our best prose artists at work on new themes."–The Chicago Tribune
“Nova is a master of integrating fantastical elements into a familiar cultural landscape. . . . Wetware’s world is a nightmare of genetic science gone awry, but Nova’s description of its mores and inhabitants is icily appealing.” —USA Today
"The world Nova envisions is . . . fascinating to visit." –The Philadelphia Inquirer
"It is profoundly difficult to put a Nova book down. . . . The characters are chillingly real and Nova's story has lasting, visceral power." –The Burlington Free Press
"[Nova is] the finest working novelist in America. . . . [Wetware has] achingly unique characters . . . and evocative dialogue." –Las Vegas Mercury
"Sympathetic, mordantly funny . . . witty and poignant. . . . A surprise." –The Oakland Tribune
"Nova walks a fine line between noir and straight-ahead fiction in his taut, moody, and piercing novels." –Booklist
"A seductive and intelligent novel about love and freedom . . . moving." –Kirkus Reviews