By Daneet Steffens
Updated December 09, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

Alexander Besher, an authority on Asia-Pacific trends and business relations, serves up a cyber-noir adventure with a touch of camp in his first novel, Rim: A Novel of Virtual Reality. It’s a sort of Blade Runne meets William Gibson meets Douglas Adams, and then they all sit down together to a supper of interactive sushi. In 2027, the borders between reality and virtual reality have practically vanished: Neo-Tokyo disappears for 12 hours each day; the latest buzz phrase is post-virtual reality; the CIA has been replaced by the Virtual Bureau of Investigation; and everyone hangs out in Satori City, a VR metropolis with something for everyone, including an illegal zone for squatters. When a system-wide crash traps millions inside, our reluctant hero, Frank Gobi, has to struggle with beautiful, dangerous seductresses; deadly ‘droids; and his own encounter with destiny as a Zen warrior. In the end, it’s simply an exciting (and funny) novel of international intrigue — it’s just that ”international” now includes space stations and VR-scapes of the Himalayas. A-

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