Modesitt returns to the twenty-fourth century future of "Archform: Beauty," for a new story.
Ten years ago, Jonat deVrai was a rising star in the Marines. But he shocked his superiors by walking away from the Corps after witnessing atrocity and hypocrisy. Starting his life over, he established himself as the world's expert on the effectiveness of "prod"-- product placement, the only advertising which viewers will allow through the sophisticated filters they all use against unwanted intrusions on their electronic link networks. Prod, reinforced with sublims and the "res"-- resonant frequencies, a form of sonic branding -- is the wave of the future. Then Jonat's comfortable world is upset when the Centre for Societal Research approaches him to study the effects of res and prod on political campaigns. After a res-heavy political rally for Laborite Republican Senatorial candidate Juan Carlismo, armed thugs jump deVrai in a parking garage. A day later, a sniper ambushes him. What looked like a safe, lucrative contract has suddenly turned dangerous. With his life on the line, deVrai must sort flash from fact before it's too late.
"Flash "is a riveting blend of all-out thriller and thoughtful social, political, and technological exploration as only Modesitt could write it.