The Long Run

by Daniel Keys Moran

Cover image

Series: Continuing Time #2
Publisher: Quiet Vision Press
Copyright: 1989
Printing: February 2002
ISBN: 1-57646-639-6
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 344

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The Long Run is the best known of a small series of books written by Daniel Keys Moran (no relation to either Daniel Keyes or Daniel Moran), a series that is apparently potentially much larger than those few books that have been published, stalled out at The AI War, which has been finished but never published. This book is also notoriously difficult to find, which is a real shame.

The story revolves around an ethical thief named Trent, who's also one of the best Players (computer hackers) on Earth and whose past is entangled with telepaths, believed by everyone to have all been killed. While there are cyberpunk elements, I wouldn't say that this is really a cyberpunk novel; it's more of a future adventure novel with a daring and irrepressible hero, set against a beautifully rich background. Once the story gets started, the pace makes it very hard to put down.

I think my favorite part of the book is the self-assured, calm, occasionally sardonic attitude of the lead character, a memorable hero who I greatly enjoyed spending time with. He manages to come up with all of those quips that one wishes one could think of in the heat of the moment. Having a lead character who doesn't believe in killing is a nice touch and adds a tiny bit of philosophy to the story — not a lot, as this isn't a particularly philosophical book, but enough to add more depth to his character.

Obviously a lot of thought has gone into the world, and I loved the blending of the story with quotes from various religious writings, analyses, and songs, sometimes dated far after the events of the story. Not only does this add to the ambiance, but it gives the story a certain mythic feel and depth that's quite engrossing.

On the other hand, the world is occasionally a bit silly. You're likely to do a bit of eye-rolling when the pace slows down enough to think over things like a French-dominated United Nations conquering the US, and the LapVax resulted in a snicker each time I ran across it. In that, the book reminded me a little of Snow Crash, just in how the world requires a fair bit of suspension of disbelief and is rather unlikely when dryly described, but the story is such fun that it doesn't really matter. The Long Run is more serious and stronger than Snow Crash, though, and funny mostly only in a sardonic way.

It took me twenty or thirty pages to get acclimated to the tone, and then I could hardly put this book down. It's truly a shame that more books in this series aren't still being published regularly and that they're so often out of print. I've placed orders directly with Quiet Vision for the rest of the books of Moran's that they're currently publishing, and I've now joined the ranks of those who hope more will show up eventually.

Followed by The Last Dancer.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Reviewed: 2004-06-05

Last modified and spun 2014-12-21