Dogs of Cyberwar

The Dogs of Cyberwar - Jamie Fessenden Love me some cyberpunk. I don't really like the label, since if you label a story, you risk limiting it both in authorial creative soup ways and in reader expectation. But I will admit that it's a convenient shorthand to evoke certain themes. I've probably been reading cyberpunk for longer than a lot of you GR denizens have been alive. Isn't that a scary thought? From Gregory Frost's disturbing visions to C.S. Friedman's genius world building and gleeful pandemonium.

So - always pleased as purple punch to find cyberpunk offerings in M/M.

Once again, I caution readers against approaching any story with pre-set conditions. ("I will only like this story if XY and Z.") This is not a typical, traditional romance - you're not going to find pages and pages of angsty whining, er, emoting, nor will you find a full third of the book swallowed up in sex scenes. The romance element is drawn in fine pencil strokes here, in a minimalist way that follows the spare, "just what I need to worry about now" way that the MC thinks.

Fessenden concentrates on the SF portion of SFR and he does it well. He made me believe in this world where individual freedoms have been subjugated to corporate whims, where the plutocracy has degenerated into constantly warring fiefdoms, a shadow world of espionage and violence just below the thin veneer of what civilization remains. And, in the wrong parts of town, not below the surface at all.

(A little shout out to the Cu Chulainn references - my favorite Age of Heroes guy mostly because he was completely certifiable.)

It's a short work and it certainly held my interest every step of the way. I only have one complaint.

Our protagonists fight to keep their secrets and they fight hard - we're just starting to see what's behind the curtains...and then it ends. We were just getting started, just getting to the meat of the matter. There was obviously meant to be more. I hope there will be more. There had better be more. Seriously.

That said - an enjoyable, exciting piece with characters who manage to win you over and keep you guessing. Always grab good cyberpunk when you can find it.