Literature: Hammerjack

A cyberpunk novel by Marc D. Giller (his debut) published in 2005. In a near future ruled by corporations, Cray Alden is a former hammerjack—or hacker of the computer world known as the Axis—now forced to work as a corporate spook, hunting hammerjacks down. He gets swept up in a war between a corrupt government, and anti-tech terrorists, as a strange infection begins to change his mind and body.

Heavily derivative of William Gibson, with doses of The Matrix and Blade Runner. Reviewers have criticized it for being perhaps a bit too derivative, but it compensates with some smashing action scenes as well as presenting female characters that are better developed than the males (a rarity, for a male cyberpunk author).

Its sequel, Prodigal, was published in 2007.

Tropes in this work:

  • Action Girl: Zoe, Avalon and Lea Prism, introduced in that order
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Lyssa will do anything to be free of her boundries
  • Ambiguously Gay: Andrew Talbot, depending on your interpretation. Since he gets no physical description we don’t know if he wears a pink shirt or prissy glasses, but we do know that he’s a sassy, sarcastic, humorous friend to Lea.
  • Audience Surrogate: Both male leads Cray Alden and Nathan Straka have very generic personalities in comparison to the other characters, and neither are given any physical description or even an age.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Avalon, Lea Prism, Vortex, Funky...
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Cray Alden According to the Inru, anyway.
  • Author Appeal: All of the female characters in the first book have great bodies (justified with Zoe, Avalon and Lea, as they’re action heroines). And all except possibly Avalon spend a good portion of the story either dressed in revealing cloths, acting seductive, or both.
  • Badass: Basically everyone
  • Badass Longcoat: Avalon. And, according to the book cover, Cray Alden.
  • Crapsack World
  • Cyberpunk Arguably a throwback to classic '80s cyberpunk
  • Chase Scene: Only about every other chapter or so...
  • Cool Shades: Avalon’s eyes were eaten away by the Mons virus, and replaced with cyborg implants, which she covers with onyx glasses.
  • Cyberspace
  • Decoy Love Interest: Zoe, who is introduced as a young sexy action-girl in a black leather suit that "left little to the imagination," and who Alden is on a mission to capture...and she ends up dying in at the end of the first chase scene!
  • The Dragon: Avalon: in the first book for Phao Yin, and in Prodigal for the Inru.
  • Dying as Yourself: Both Lauren Farina and Avalon in "Prodigal."
  • Expy: Nathan Straka, the new male lead in Prodigal, is almost identical to Cray Alden in personality (or lack thereof), and is even an ex-hammerjack who works for the government. Lea Prism and Trevor Bostic also fill the roles that Cray Alden and Phao Yin had in the first book, of ex-hammerjack-forced-to-work-for-the-govornment, and the evil boss. (Though Lea and Trevor's relationship has the extra dimension of Trevor's attraction to her.)
  • Goth: Apparently in the future, the Goth subculture will evolve into a violent cult.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Alden’s ascension into the computer world
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Zoe, at the very least. Possibly Avalon, as her “dark clothes” could be interpreted as leather (since it’s a cyberpunk story after all). According to the cover of “Prodigal,” Lea Prism.
  • Hello, Nurse!: If a male character falls in love with—or just comments on the beauty of—a woman in the series, it's Lea.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Avalon’s body and senses having been largely eaten away by the Mons Virus, so she had to be rebuilt with enhanced reflexes, a “sensesuit” that gives her inhuman senses, and two small lights where her eyes used to be.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Avelon’s shimmering sensesuit
  • Meaningful Name: Avalon is mysterious and solitary; in Prodigal, Eve Kelean brings about a sort of "fall of man," when she unleashes the virus on the crew.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Cray’s newfound ally Lea Prism just happens to be young, sassy, single, and beautiful. She is forced by circumstances to disguise as a prostitute (twice). Lyssa also likes to take the form of a sultry, seductive babe, for no explained reason.
  • Anti-Hero: Over the course of the two books, Avalon switches sides almost more than Captain Jack Sparrow.
  • Storming the Castle
  • Pinball Protagonist: Cray Alden moves through the adventure through almost no choices of his own, at least for the first half or so of the book.
  • Psycho for Hire: Avalon
  • Punch Clock Villain:Eve Kellean, in Prodigal.
  • Unstoppable Rage : Avalon. Holly hell, Avalon. Especially when she goes on a rampage against Yoshii Tagura’s gang in the middle of Prodigal.