Added in 2023: The Fortunate Fall was published under a now disused byline. The author embraces the name Cameron Reed and to reflect this, I have amended the review appropriately.
1996’s The Fortunate Fall was Cameron Reed’s debut novel — and to date, their only one. While we can regret not having more Reed novels, we can also be grateful that we have at least this one … which is a fine book.
The genocidal Guardians fell to the Unanimous Army, a vast horde of mind-controlled slaves dancing on the strings of neurological implants. Once the Army’s task was completed, the surviving soldiers were freed to survive as best they could, often thousands of miles from home. Chaos followed.
Two law enforcement bodies, the Weavers and the Postcops, are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent anyone from duplicating the crimes against humanity devised by the creator of the Unanimous Army (crimes that include the dark art of mind sculpting). Woe to anyone who falls afoul of either police force.
All this is history. For Maya Andreyeva, it is half-remembered history at best. She is an Eye (what passes for a journalist in the novel’s imagined future). Her nervous system is connected to the net, so that millions of people can experience what she experiences, see what she sees. Of course, her output is carefully edited; her superiors have no desire to see their carefully orchestrated regime endangered by rogue info.
That’s OK by Maya. It is quite unwittingly that she gives the world an experience it will never forget.