Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics, and a Ph.D. in chemical physics, both from Harvard. She has done research at the University of Toronto, The Max Planck Institute, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. A former ballet and jazz dancer, she founded the Mainly Jazz Dance program at Harvard and now teaches at the Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet. She has written fourteen novels in the popular Skolian Saga, the latest being Schism (Tor, 2004) as well as two near-future technothrillers, The Veiled Web and The Phoenix Code. She currently runs Molecudyne Research and lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter.
The evil genius Charon is dead, but Alpha, the gorgeous, superintelligent android he built, remains an unpredictable threat in Asaro's entertaining mix of hard SF and romance, the sequel to Sunrise Alley (2004). As director of the Office of Computer Operations of the National Information Agency, Lt. Gen. Thomas Wharington is determined to learn Alpha's secrets, but he has about as much success against her expert ability to "read" human body language as he does in finding a baby-sitter for his precocious granddaughter, Jamie. As Wharington wonders about the burgeoning sexual bond between him and the android, Alpha takes him captive and transports him to Charon's island hideaway, where he learns a terrible secret: Charon has survived and, with Alpha's help, plots to take over the world. Asaro has all the right pieces for a taut thriller, though the action suffers at times from a surfeit of plot threads, including the still-unresolved subject of Sunrise Alley itself, a shadowy group of free-roving "Evolving Intelligences" with vast power over the Internet "mesh." (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.