PositivePublic Books... Infinite Detail...gain[s] energy from the current crisis of realism by relying both on the verisimilitude of uncanny tech and the feeling of being suddenly pitched from a knowable genre into a much nastier one ... [it] combine[s] a recognizable noir plot with a monstrous-internet-society plot (not, to be clear, like the plot of The Hunger Games, with its youthful canniness about survival in a corrupt system, but instead with adult plots of irrevocable guilt and shame). However, they also borrow the serviceable \'band of hackers\' trope from cyberpunk and can’t resist fetishizing the sublimity of the internet, depicted as a kind of Big Other ... Infinite Detail convincingly depicts two haunted futures, the first one disturbingly near to our own era ... At the same time that Infinite Detail undermines its optimistic hackers’ brief carnivalesque success with the cold reality of loss and death that follows, the book feels mildly dated in its depiction of an internet driven more by the “fun pirate” aesthetic than by the rise of the alt-right ... Infinite Detail is...at its most vivid in depicting disintegration in Britain, America, and China, but the reader wonders whether urban collapse would really map this cleanly onto global collapse.
PositivePublic BooksDoten’s Trump Sky Alpha offers savage black humor and immersion in psychosis ... Like no other book I’ve read, it captures the simultaneity of hilarity and horror you get on the nightly news these days. But it’s not for the faint of heart! ... Admitting how close that world is to ours increases the crushing force of the moment when the (once again) mysterious collapse of the internet leads somehow to Trump starting a nuclear war in rageaholic spite ... The reader will find a certain balance of reward and frustration in the quest for story—a balance that might be accepted as the cost of daring to approach these multiple hearts of darkness.