A book written by Kim Stanley Robinson about life in Orange County, California in the early 21st century. The Gold Coast follows Jim McPherson, a twenty-seven-year old man who feels he is adrift in the affluent society of the future. He becomes a minor urban terrorist out of boredom, attacking aerospace companies with smart weapons. The book is also about the life of Jim's friends and his father Dennis, who is an aerospace engineer...
This book was enjoyable for me because of the high standard of Kim Stanley Robinson's writing, especially his descriptions of the Californian landscape. However, this doesn't seem to have the direction of some of his other novels, most notably Red Mars.
Interesting futuristic thingummies in this book
- Drugs taken through the eyes. The drugs are synthesised by people working on their own or in very small groups and adminstered using an eyedropper. Supposedly because it acts faster this way.
- All cars in California are electric and computer-guided. Most of the problems surrounding these technologies are avoided by having guidance/power tracks embedded into every road in the state.
- Solvent based mini-missiles. Because they are nice urban terrorists, their missiles do not harm humans. Instead, they release a gas containg enzymes and chemical solvents that dissolves kevlar, plastics and carbon fibre. Aerospace companies don't like this.
- Covert stealth suits. The suits hold in human body heat so that a person wearing it does not show up an IR camera. They also have a honeycomb structure that "eats" radar signals.
- Remotely Piloted Vehicles. Small robot planes that dive out of the sky at Mach 7, acquire their targets and destroy them before the targets know they are under attack.