Sometimes, an author’s early work is so popular that the reader and publisher demand for sequels dominates the rest of their career. Examples include Asimov and Foundation, Card and Ender, and Bujold and Miles. This list also includes Steven Gould, whose ongoing Jumper series comprises five novels to date, as well as an unfortunate movie adaptation. Indeed, of the five novels Gould has published in the 21st century, four of them have been Jumper novels.
But only four. One of them was not a Jumper novel. That novel was 2011’s 7th Sigma.
Fifty years earlier, the bugs, insectile von Neumann devices, appeared in America’s Southwest. Ravenous for metal, fecund, easily provoked, extraordinarily dangerous, the bugs quickly claimed a swath of the United States for their own. Then they halted their advance — for reasons unknown.
Within the bug-dominated Territory, any form of technology involving metal or electromagnetic radiation soon attracts bugs. Life within the zone means abandoning advanced technology (unless it involves plastics, ceramics, and composites).
That does not mean life in the zone is impossible: humans lived in that region long before radios and metal technology were available. In the era of 7th Sigma,they still do.
One such inhabitant is a seemingly unremarkable boy named Kimble, a boy living parentless by choice.
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