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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jack Mangan's Spherical Tomi

The first thing that stuck out about Jack Mangan’s Spherical Tomi is that is was hard core, cyberpunk science fiction. The second thing was, for a sci-fi novel, it was incredibly easy to read. Spherical Tomi is a strong mix of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game because of the complicated war strategies, and Ghost in the Machine because most of the characters in Spherical Tomi use disposable bodies called itai instead of their real bodies.

Spherical Tomi begins with a battle where the main character, Tomitsu, and her lover Nez are in a battle against William the Black. Ultimately, Nez is killed and Tomitsu, in a fit of anger, selfishly kills 105 innocent people (in their real bodies). The true target, William the Black, survives.

The story then jumps ahead three years, where Tomitsu, now known as Michi, is a space debris sweeper. She is residing in a black market itai body and has sworn to redeem herself for the mass murders by doing whatever she can to help others. On her new job with partner Jeanette, she finds a minefield in an area where William the Black (the man who killed her lover) is set to pass through. Therein lies the dilemma: will Tomi/Michi protect William the Black so that she can redeem herself or will she risk everything she's worked towards for revenge?

Spherical Tomi is available to order at Creative Guy Publishing but it can also be found at as a free audiobook. I listened to it briefly while at work and I thought it was well performed and easily understandable. So if anyone is looking for a cool way to read while working I highly recommend the audiobook.

Overall, Spherical Tomi was expertly written and it was full of action, tension, regret, redemption and forgiveness. I fell in love with Tomi and I found it hard to believe that a man could write such a brilliantly, strong and complex woman and at the same time seamlessly blend hard core sci-fi, action, and plot.

Go to for information about the author and subscribe to Deadpan, Mangan's weekly podcast.

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