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Shirley, John. Eclipse. Book one of The Eclipse Trilogy, a k a A SONG CALLED YOUTH trilogy. [1] London: Methuen, 1985; New York: Warner, 1987; New York: Popular Library, 1987. Revised and updated edition, 1999. Erlich listened to the 2014 unabridged audiobook from Audible.[2]

Headnote by Shirley states that Eclipse "may well be . . . a pre-holocaust novel." It definitely shows a largely high-tech, neo-Fascist dystopia following a war limited to the destruction of urban Europe; it's marketed as part of "The Ultimate Cyberpunk Saga" (all capitals in original); see JS's Eclipse Penumbra.

Identified by Shirley in a web posting and in the Wikipedia entry as cyberpunk but might have been pigeon-holed near-future, post-tactical-nuke-war dystopia if the author had been other than "cyberpunk's patient zero," John Shirley in William Gibson's phrase.[3] Three notable mechanisms: (1) A relatively small size "extractor" device — presumably about the size of a real-world polygraph — used to penetrate apparently the brains and certainly the minds of people and extract information, especially included memories they wish to conceal. (2) A relatively new space-station size space station that is the site of a rebellion and is pushed by the combat from getting-shabby to trashed. (3) Between the two sizes, there are in warzones on Earth huge, five-story-tall weapons called Jaegernauts, named for the developer, but with German Jaeger meaning "hunter," appropriate for a hunter/killer weapon, and the idea of the Juggernaut, from the "Hindu temple cars of Jagannath Temple in Puri, which apocryphally were reputed to crush devotees under their wheels."[4] The Jaegernaut may not be AI, but it is automated, and memorably can crush people outside of it, but in its path. So we have a human-scale machine that transgresses physical and ethical boundaries to invade people as deeply as their memories, a huge but essentially positive space station that protects its inhabitants from the lethality of space, and between the two a highly-advanced Juggernaut, that in various ways tears apart people and the products of human labor as it moves through ravaged cityscapes, memorably in Eclipse, Paris. In the background, available for later development foreshadowed in the Epilog, is "the grid" communications network. the control of which is of great political importance, for which see entry on Eclipse Corona.

Note a music scene and club milieu where electric, electrified, electronic music of the late 20th c. is gone or retro and mostly replaced by what we might consider cyberpunk varieties involving WiFi and implants and occasionally fairly radical surgery (with gender implications). Also: Uniforms on SA security making them look like insects, for what Richard D. Erlich and Thomas P. Dunn have called "The Ovion/Cylon Alliance" of mechanism and insects (from a mammalian, human point of view).

{Expanded RDE 17Feb17, 9May21, 12May21, 7Oct21}