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Many writers have tried in vain to emulate the cool tech-lingo-driven prose of author William Gibson’s early cyberpunk fiction, and it’s easy to pick those budding science-fiction writers who cast themselves as his successor — fellow Canadian Joseph MacKinnon falls into this category.

Cypulchre, by Joseph MacKinnon.
Guy Faux Books, Fiction.

MacKinnon’s second novel, “Cypulchre,” is billed as a “dark and twisted cyberpunk thriller,” and it ticks as many of the genre’s boxes as it can: a cyberspace-esque virtual reality (the CLOUD), check; tech-savvy Japanese characters, check; an omnipresent corporation (Outland Corp.), check; mind-melding network (the “noosphere”), check.

Unfortunately, however, MacKinnon is no Gibson (though he does name a character after him), and it is often hard to decipher the plot entangled in the made-up technological jargon that litters the story — so much so that a glossary of terms is included to explain just what a “memex” or indeed a “cypulchre” actually is. But for sci-fi fans who like to jack themselves into dystopian fiction above all else, “Cypulchre” may just be enough to deliver.

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