I'm looking for a sci-fi novel that I read (but did not finish) around 2019 - I'm not sure if that was when it was published, however.

In this novel, there is a technology called the 'Weave'. It's effectively an alternate-reality enabled version of today's internet. It allowed people to interact with each other using avatars and special embellishments on the environment.

Access to the Weave was regulated by (I think) the government in the novel. If you were banned from the Weave, you had to live in the true reality of the world - which was quite dystopian. People banned from the Weave would become invisible to people who were in good standing, referred to as 'On-Weave'.

In this story, I recall there being Pantheons which were in charge of different areas of society. For example, one Pantheon would have governance over espionage and foreign relations, another would be responsible for mining and construction, etc.

I believe the story follows a character working for one Pantheon but may have been a double-agent for another.

The novel opens with the character booking a hotel room, sweeping it for bugs and establishing a clandestine call. This final point I'm a bit fuzzy on, as I was watching Altered Carbon at the time and may be conflating some details.

1 Answer 1


Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson, published in 2015.

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A diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller. Nailed-down cyberpunk ala William Gibson for the 21st century meets the vivid dark futures of Al Reynolds in this extraordinary debut novel.

With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality - ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue.

With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist, a virtual ventriloquist's dummy tied to Jack's mind and created to destroy the Totality, have returned home.

Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity's. But with Fist's software licence about to expire, taking Jack's life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?

However you have misremembered the beginning. It opens with Jack on a shuttle returning to the space station:

[Look out of the window, Fist,] said Jack, speaking inside his mind so only the little puppet could hear him. [Snowflakes.]

As their shuttle wheeled around, the sun snatched at the snowflakes’ great ice bodies and made them blaze, leaving even Hugo Fist with nothing to say. There were a dozen of them hanging in the cold, empty space before Station. The smaller ones sparkled with reflected light. Maybe five hundred metres across, they revolved in the void, bodies shimmering gently. The larger ones were majestic crystal shapes, dense with fractal complexity. They glowed partly with the sun’s fire, partly with their own inborn light. The abandoned Earth roiled behind them, its toxic cloudscapes an insult to their cold perfection.

The weave (it's all lowercase in the book) is never really described - it's just mentioned in passing as part of the society - but it's clearly an Internet like network.

  • 2
    That's it! I lost this book in a move and couldn't for the life of me remember what it was! Thank you!
    – Rae
    Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 4:18
  • 2
    @Rae it's got a sequel "Waking Hell" btw, (not quite as good as the first book)
    – Danny Mc G
    Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 5:48

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