In a secret war waged in worlds both virtual and real, the fates of nations depend on the definitive weapon. And that weapon is knowledge—knowledge to die for. . . .
The race is heating up between the U.S. and China to develop a quantum computer with infinite capabilities to crack any enemy’s codes, yet keep secure its own secrets. The government that achieves this goal will win a crucial prize. No other computer system will be safe from the reach of this master machine.
Dr. Jaron Kwok was working for the U.S. government to build such a computer. But in a posh hotel in Hong Kong, a Chinese policewoman sifts through the bizarre, ashlike remains of what’s left of the doctor. With the clock ticking, alliances will be forged—and there are those who will stop at nothing to discover what the doctor knew. As the search for answers intensifies, it becomes chillingly clear that the quantum computer both sides so desperately want will be more powerful, more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.
For in the twenty-first century, machines become gods, gods become machines, and the once-impossible now lies within reach. The key to unlimited knowledge will create the ultimate weapon of mass destruction—or humanity’s last chance to save itself. . . .
"Hendrix's sentences have punch, his plots have points, and he knows his science--what more can one ask of cutting edge science fiction?"
—Gregory Benford, physicist and Nebula Award-winning author of Timescape
"One of the very best novelists writing in science fiction today."
—Kim Stanley Robinson, Hugo and Nebula award-winning author of The Years of Rice and Salt
"Stephen Hawking meets Tom Clancy! Quantum physics and international intrigue combine in the best novel yet by the finest new SF writer of the last decade. Howard V. Hendrix's THE LABYRINTH KEY is the book everyone will be talking about this year, not just in science-fiction circles, but also in the halls of power in Washington."
—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids
"With the hip fecundity of Neal Stephenson, the speculative acuity of John Brunner, and the suspense-building audacity of John LeCarre, Howard Hendrix fashions a science-fiction thriller that's truly twenty-first-century in its tone, subject matter and style. Blending metaphysics with quantum physics, THE LABYRINTH KEY explores a possible future fusion of magic and science that is truly revolutionary. Hopping from exotic real-world locales to even more outré virtualities, this tale will keep the reader guessing till its climax.”
—Paul DiFilippo, author of Fuzzy Dice and A Mouthful of Tongues
"If Robert Ludlum or Eric Ambler had written a science fiction novel, then it might have resembled THE LABYRINTH KEY. An intriguing thriller, it's also first-rate speculation: a masterful blend of genres. If you searching for thought-provoking novel, this shouldn't be missed."
—Alan Steele, Hugo Award-winning author of Chronospace
“ONE OF THE VERY BEST NOVELISTS WRITING IN SCIENCE FICTION TODAY.”
—KIM STANLEY ROBINSON, award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy
“One could almost imagine that some of the action sequences of this novel were written by Tom Clancy, while some of the scientific discussions remind one of Gregory Benford, and two sequences involving hiking in the Sierra Nevadas could have been written by Kim Stanley Robinson. The past few years have spawned several other novels of cryptology and secret histories, most notably Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, but Hendrix has been perhaps the most successful incorporating such concepts into a hard-SF context.”–Off the Shelf, SciFi.com