The Veiled Web

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9780553581515: The Veiled Web

Winner of the Homer Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

Ballerina Lucia del Mar has two great passions: dance, which consumes most of her waking hours, and the World Wide Web, which brings the outside world into her tightly regimented life. Lucia's two passions collide when a White House performance and reception leads to an encounter with handsome Moroccan businessman Rashid al-Jazari, creator of a brilliant technology that has set the Internet rumor mill afire.

A second, seemingly chance meeting with Rashid will plunge Lucia into a deadly world of desire and intrigue. For although his work has implications she cannot foresee, there are those who do understand and would turn its great power to their own destructive purposes. As she is drawn deeper and deeper into Rashid's life and work, cut off from the outside world, she finds herself becoming more attracted to him. But is her seclusion within Rashid's well-guarded Moroccan home intended to ensure her safety...or her silence? And is it already too late to stop the terrible consequences his new technology could unleash?

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Review:

Catherine Asaro, author of the popular Skolian Empire series that combines hard science with romance in the far future, explores new territory with The Veiled Web. Set in 2010, this story combines romance, suspense, and cutting-edge computer technology in a Moroccan setting.

Lucia del Mar, the heroine, is an internationally renowned dancer who is also familiar with the latest in Internet technology. At a White House dinner she meets Rashid al-Jazari, a Moroccan businessman who has created a hot new virtual-reality suit and software that could revolutionize Web browsing. A second encounter ends up in an attempt to kidnap Rashid and Lucia, forcing them into hiding at his family's Moroccan home. Here Lucia becomes steadily more attracted to him, even as she chafes at the limitations placed on her as a woman in a traditional Muslim household. She also begins to realize the implications of his work, and how dangerous it could be in the wrong hands.

In this near-future thriller, Asaro considers what makes humans human and the similarities between art and science, balancing ethical and religious beliefs with scientific discoveries that open new possibilities. If you're intrigued by artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and VR, you'll enjoy this one. --Nona Vero

From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Veiled Web:

"At once thoughtful and imaginative, The Veiled Web is a near-future layering of East and West, of religion and technology, movement and introspection--and of love and its loss--all woven into an intriguing tapestry that shows one turning point in the eternal battle for the souls of men. If one knows quite what a soul is!"
--Diana Gabaldon

"A terrific novel, ripping a path from today's headlines to tomorrow's realities--a page-turning thriller tempered by romance and ethical concerns, with characters (even some nonhuman ones) you'll care deeply about. Look for this one on the bestseller lists."
--Robert J. Sawyer, Nebula Award-winning author of Factoring Humanity and Flashforward

"Known for her brilliance at combining science, adventure, and riveting characterization, Catherine Asaro breaks new territory with a compelling story set in the world we know, at the dangerous intersection of cutting-edge technology and the age-old conflict of culture and the human heart. A romance of ideas as well as the story of a man and a woman attempting to build a bridge between two very different societies, The Veiled Web is a thought-provoking and entertaining tale for the dawn of a new millennium."
--Mary Jo Putney

"Asaro discards TV clichés and Time magazine stereotypes to search for the real Arab culture. She chooses her milieu well: the Arabs are a passionate people, and this is a passionate book, crackling with tension between modernity and tradition, art and science, male and female, idealism and cynicism. The attraction and repulsion between her American heroine and Arab hero presage a collision of cultures that will increasingly come to dominate tomorrow's social landscape."
--Jamil Nasir

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