Puppeteer

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
When resource shortages, debt and terrorism threaten to bring anarchy to the world, one man sent on a mission to thwart hi-tech terrorism must find whoever is manipulating both terrorists and antiterrorist forces to bring down governance. When he unravels the plot, his sense of honor is severely tested, but only unimpeachable honor can succeed. More

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About Ian J Miller

Ian J Miller was born 7th August 1942 to the son of a policeman sent to Hokitika (New Zealand) to fill vacancies due to the mass murderer Stanley Graham. Secondary education was at Ashburton High School, thence to University of Canterbury (BSc Hons1, PhD), followed by post-docs at Calgary, Southampton and Armidale. I returned to New Zealand to Chemistry Division, DSIR, to work first on lignin chemistry, then recycling, seaweed research, then hydrothermal wood liquefaction. In 1986 I left DSIR to set up Carina Chemical Laboratories Ltd, to carry out research to support the private half of a joint venture to make pyromellitates, the basis of high temperature resistant plastics. (When called to a TV program to discuss the danger of foam plastics in fires, I aimed a gas torch at the palm of my hand, protected only by a piece of foam plastic I had made shortly before. Fortunately, it worked, it glowed yellow hot, but held the heat for about half a minute.) This venture, and an associated seaweed processing venture collapsed during the late 1980s financial crisis, mostly for financial reasons. Current projects include the development of Nemidon gels (www.nemidon.co.nz/) and fuels and chemicals through the hydrothermal treatment of microalgae (www.aquaflowgroup.com/). I have written about 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, about 35 other articles, and I was on the Editorial Board of Botanica Marina between about 1998-2008.

In my first year University, following an argument with some Arts students, I was challenged to write a fictional book. I did in spare time: Gemina. I subsequently self-published a revised version, only to find publicity was forbidden as a condition of getting my finance for the pyromellitates project. Since then, I have written a few more science in fiction thriller-type novels that don't fit nicely in any category. These form a "future history", and Puppeteer is the first of one entry point.

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Reviews

Review by: Audrey Driscoll on July 28, 2018 :
The author calls this "realistic science fiction." That is quite accurate, although it might also be called a thriller. A "techno-thriller," even, because technology takes a central role in the plot. However, this plot is not the usual rollercoaster page-turner. It's set in what seems to be the near future, with social, economic, and political situations that are realistic projections from our present time. The prose is clear and workmanlike, but by no means artful or elegant. Miller sets up the situation, introduces the characters, and takes them through the reasoning and actions necessary to deal with the circumstances. Reasoning is an important element in this story. The characters think before they act. They don't have superhuman abilities, although at times I thought John Maxwell was a little too lucky. The ending is full of tension and excitement worthy of any thriller. The last few chapters are indeed page-turners. The characters are sufficiently developed to do the jobs required of them. Most of them demonstrate a subtle sense of humour at times. A bonus is that parts of the novel are set on the Kerguelen Islands, a place I knew nothing about until I read Puppeteer. Readers who appreciate books that make you think would appreciate this one.
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
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