Alexander Jablokov returns to SF with his best book ever. Bernal Haydon-Rumi, executive assistant to a funder of eccentric projects, drops by his boss’s house on the way home from a business trip. By the next morning, he’s been knocked out, his wealthy socialite boss Muriel has stolen a car and vanished, and the AI designed for planetary exploration that she’s been funding turns out to be odder than it should be. In figuring out what’s going on, Bernal has to deal with an anti-AI activist toting a handmade electronic arsenal, a local serial killer, a drug dealer with a business problem, a cryonic therapist stalked by past mistakes—and someone who specifically wants Bernal dead.
Brain Thief is a fun, literate speculative fiction adventure, sort of New England cyberpunk noir, set a year or ten from now, somewhere between the Berkshires and Boston, and includes, at no extra charge, a 30-foot-tall fiberglass cowgirl.