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“Unger (Nucleation) makes hacking come alive in this fast-paced techno-thriller centered on the Swim, a virtual reality accessed by uploading a ‘persona,’ or a copy of the users mind, then downloading it again to retain the memories of the experience. Eliza McKay relies on her quick thinking and the computer system wired into her brain to make a living extracting people who’ve gotten stuck in the Swim. When the government hires McKay to extract agent Mike Miyamoto, it appears to be a normal job―except Mike’s in the Swim on a criminal investigation, and what he’s discovered has changed him so much that his persona refuses to reintegrate into the self he left behind. McKay must race the clock to extract him―but she’s not the only one who wants what Mike knows, and her adversaries are willing to go to any lengths to stop McKay from reaching him first. VR programmer Unger mines her expertise to create all too believable scenarios and creative solutions, and the novel’s at its best in the vivid, evocative descriptions of how hacking feels to a mind fully immersed in VR. The story dances between two worlds just as real as each other, pulling the reader along to an explosive conclusion. Cyberpunk fans won’t want to miss this.”
Publishers Weekly

“Kimberly Unger reimagines cyberpunk from the ground up to deliver a smart, fully immersive thriller.”
―Wil McCarthy, author of Rich Man’s Sky and the Queendom of Sol series

“In a future where people have computers wired into their brains, programmers have gone well beyond virtual reality and created a place called The Swim, where the virtual becomes reality. Eliza McKay is an extractionist who pulls out people who have gone too deep and can no longer reconcile mind and body. She is trying to put her life and career back together after a disastrous experiment got her security clearance pulled. Her newest job seems like a simple extraction, but when the man she’s hired to extract refuses to go and warns her about a member of his team, she realizes there is a lot more going on. Soon, goons are showing up at her home, and the hacker is getting hacked. She’s no longer sure who she can trust: the man she was hired to extract, the secretive government employees who hired her, the tech genius who claims to need her help, or even The Swim itself. VERDICT Unger (Nucleation), a game designer and VR programmer by day, delivers an edge-of-your-seat technothriller with a refreshingly relatable protagonist….”
Library Journal

The Extractionist reads like a cybernetic thriller, with lots of danger and double crosses. The Swim feels like a character all its own, with plenty of detail to help visualize what it might be like to explore an abstract, immersive online world. There’s a small cast of characters that helps McKay as she gets in and out of trouble; Spike, an artificial intelligence that McKay helped create, is a particular standout and serves as a friendly foil to our heroine. Recommended for fans of Annalee Newitz, Neal Stephenson, and of course, William Gibson.”

“Our heroine is a business consultant, but we live in her cyborg brain, we see every detail through her augmented eyes, and the future world she haunts is crammed with invention to the point of psychedelia. I quite enjoyed this.”
―Bruce Sterling, author of Schismatrix

“Kimberly Unger’s The Extractionist is next-generation science fiction. It fuses cyberpunk attitude with diamond-hard science and alarming plausibility. Unger is one to watch.”
―James L. Cambias, author of The Godel Operation

“We need more heroines like Eliza McKay, who are tough enough and smart enough to withstand the convergence of raw emotion and technology.”
―Sande Chen, video game writer, The Witcher

“Unger writes with the ease of familiarity with challenging technical material, so that even if I couldn’t explain what was happening, I knew she could. The sureness of an author’s voice can carry us into worlds and situations we’ve never experienced for ourselves. Unger’s work is cutting-edge science fiction.”
―Deborah J. Ross, author of The Seven-Petaled Shield

The Extractionist expertly harnesses the author’s deep immersive knowledge of current and extrapolative technology to provide a comprehensive and realistic view of the future of the Internet, the Swim, and the future of nanotechnology. The novel is ably centered and grounded around a complex and well-drawn protagonist whose cutting edge technology may yet cut her deeply as well. Unger’s novel stands as a beacon of near future SF with a future of the internet and nanotech that is immersively and eminently plausible. The novel bonds a technothriller plot with an engaging and turn-paging story. The Extractionist takes the reader from the future of Internet cafes in a near future San Francisco to the depths of the Swim and what lurks in the dark depths of this all too plausible future of the Internet.”
―Paul Weimer, SFF reviewer and critic

“A fast paced and complex tale of corporate and governmental intrigue, Unger has given the world another winner.”
―Joseph Karpierz, MT Void

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading Unger’s book and would highly recommend it. I would go so far as to say, it could be worth presenting to your bookclub.”