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by: Ramez Naam


Nexus is a gripping piece of near future speculation, riffing on the latest developments in cognition enhancement. With all the grit and pace of the Bourne films, this is a clever and confident debut by a writer expertly placed to speculate about where we’re heading. Unlike a lot of SF, this novel dares to look the future square in the eye.”
– Alastair Reynolds, bestselling author of Revelation Space and Blue Remembered Earth

In the near future, the psychedelic wonder drug, Nexus, can link mind to mind. When a young San Francisco-based idealist is caught improving the drug and making it available to kids in the local music scene, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage, with far more at stake than anyone realizes.

File Under: Science Fiction [ Humanity 2.0 | Mind Matters | Hive | This Will Happen ]


Mankind gets an upgrade In the near future, the experimental nano-drug Nexus can link human together, mind to mind. There are some who want to improve it. There are some who want to eradicate it. And there are others who just want to exploit it. When a young scientist is caught improving Nexus, he’s thrust over his head into a world of danger and international espionage – for there is far more at stake than anyone realizes. First published December 2012 in US trade paperback ISBN: 9780857662934

Nexus Arc

Cover Art

ARGH! Oxford

Release Date




Ramez Naam is a professional technologist, and was involved in the development of Microsoft Internet Explorer and Outlook. He was the CEO of Apex Nanotechnologies, a company involved in developing nanotechnology research software before returning to Microsoft. He holds a seat on the advisory board of the Institute for Accelerating Change, is a member of the World Future Society, a Senior Associate of the Foresight Institute, and a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Ramez is the author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement, and is also the recipient of the 2005 HG Wells Award for Contributions to Transhumanism, awarded by the World Transhumanist Association.

Joint winner of the Prometheus Award 2014
Shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award 2014
Shortlisted for the Kitchies Award 2014

“Any old writer can take you on a roller coaster ride, but it takes a wizard like Ramez Naam to take you on the same ride while he builds the roller coaster a few feet in front of your plummeting car… you’ll want to read it before everyone’s talking about it.”
– John Barnes, author of the Timeline Wars and Daybreak series

“A dazzlingly clever and well informed near-future extrapolation, and also an outrageously exciting and cinematic shoot ‘n punch ’em up. A ‘smart thriller’ in all senses of that phrase. Ramez Naam really does know how to make you turn that page. If you are posthuman or transhuman this is an absolute must-read for you; and even mere mortals will love it.”
Philip Palmer, author of Version 43 and Hell Ship

“Ramez Naam is one of those unrelenting authors who, from the very first page, grabs you roughly by the scruff of the neck and screams right into your face. His talent as a storyteller is unequivocal; his prose both startlingly bold and darkly intelligent, making Nexus one of the most intensely compelling and original debut novels I’ve read in a very, very long time. His breathtaking expertise and confidence as a writer makes Naam the only serious successor to Michael Crichton working in the future history genre today.”
Scott Harrison, author of Archangel

Nexus is the most brilliant hard SF thriller I’ve read in years. It’s smart, it’s gripping, and it describes a chilling reality that is all-too-plausible… Ramez Naam is a name to watch for.”
Brenda Cooper, author of The Silver Ship and the Sea and The Creative Fire

“An incredibly imaginative, action-packed intellectual romp! Ramez Naam has turned the notion of human liberty and freedom on its head by forcing the question: Technology permitting, should we be free to radically alter our physiological and mental states?”
Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man

“Ramez Naam’s debut novel Nexus is a superbly plotted high-tension technothriller about a War-on-Drugs-style crackdown on brain/computer interfaces … full of delicious, thoughtful moral ambiguity … Excellent spycraft, kick-ass action scenes, and a chilling look at a future cold war over technology and ideology, making a hell of a read.”
– Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

“I really like books that cover science fiction topics but use real science to make it all sound plausible. I was talking to my friend Amber about this and she recommended this book Nexus to me. She used to work here at Penny Arcade but she was way too smart for us and so she left to become a brain surgeon. She’s a doctor now and doing all kinds of incredible research into brain stuff. Anyway I figured if she thought the science behind a book was well researched it must be pretty good. Nexus is a story set in the near future. A drug called Nexus hits the streets and it lets people link up their brains like a computer network. There are people who think it represents an evolutionary step for humans and there are people who think it needs to be destroyed. It’s a really good story that makes you think about medical advances and just how close we might be to some pretty wild ideas.”
Penny Arcade

“It’s good. Scary good. Take a chance and stop reading now and have a great time reading a bleeding edge technical thriller that is full of surprises.”
– James Floyd Kelly,’s GeekDad blog

“If I had to use just two words to summarize my impressions after reading Nexus, they would ‘perfect balance’. Perfect balance between the scientific speculation and the action scenes; perfect balance between developing the characters and advancing the plot; perfect balance between entertaining the readers and making them think.”
Sense of Wonder

“A fast, fun read which is both emotionally engaging and thought-provoking. You’ll be mulling over the implications of Nexus — the book and the drug — long after you put the book down.”
– Annalee Newitz,

“Naam displays a Michael Crichton-like ability to explain cutting-edge research via the medium of an airport techno-thriller.”
SFX Magazine

“The action scenes are crisp, the glimpses of future tech and culture are mesmerising.”
Publishers Weekly

“Mr Naam sees all the angles of future technology almost too imaginatively to keep up with… Nexus joins Paul McAuley’s Fairyland (1995) as a double-edged vision of the post-human.”
– Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal

“This sophisticated page-turning techno-thriller is one of my favorite stories of all time… Naam is remarkable in his ability to address deep philosophical concepts while keeping the story line light, fast, and action-packed.”
– Stephen L. Macknik, Scientific American Illusion Chasers blog

“Naam, an expert in new technologies and author of More Than Human: Embracing the Promise of Biological Enhancement (2005), turns in a stellar performance with his debut sf novel … Naam has set himself a difficult challenge here: he’s telling a story in which much of the action and dialogue takes place inside the characters’ minds. But he succeeds admirably”.
– David Pitt, BookList

“On one level, “Nexus” is a libertarian techno-fable about how bottom-up innovation will win out over top-down systems of control. But it’s also wistfully old-fashioned—a paean to Buddhist meditators, who, when you think about it, probably came up with this whole transhumanism thing in the first place.”
Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker

“A very readable book … deals with real world ramifications of next-generation technology in a believable, if somewhat scary, fashion. It’s accurate without being boring, and action-packed without being trite or vapid.”
Matthew S. Dent, Interzone

“A riveting sci-fi thriller … This is a fantastic novel that sci-fi fans must read.”
– Barbara Cothern, Portland Book Review

“As a story told from the intersection of theoretical neuroscience and contemporary geopolitical issues, Nexus is a fascinating study into how technology might inform human evolution.”
– Adam Shaftoe, The Page of Reviews

“Excellent SCIENCE fiction action-packed thriller!”
The Mad Professah Lectures

“Ramez Naam presents an interesting world and characters 30 years hence strongly grounded in the real life research and speculation he was hitherto best known for… An interesting and intriguing fiction debut from a non fiction pioneer in bio-technological issues.”
– Paul Weimer, SF Signal

“Ramez writes excellent action sequences, incorporating his technology well, and the lives at stake are more than just cardboard cutouts. No one in this story is ‘as meets the eye’.”
Timothy C Ward

“One is never quite sure who the good guys are in [Nexus] and the web of intrigue, lies, secrets and tech just gets more complex as the story goes on … [the] writing style is perfect for the non-stop action and minute to minute plot twists.”
– Frishawn Rasheed, WTF Are You Reading?

“This story is for anyone that enjoys a action-packed sci-fi thriller with things that could be possible in the near future.”
– Sammy, Open Book Society

“Naam has a visual style with his words which leads to one experiencing cinematic scenes rather than being swamped with textbook exposition.”
– Trevor Hogg, Flickering Myth

Nexus by Ramez Naam reminds me of my favorite science fiction authors: Cory Doctorow with dystopia/government conspiracy themes, Michael Crichton with unexpected twists and action/adventure, Arthur C Clarke because everything Ramez Naam described has a scientific background.”
Dragana Mitrovic

Nexus was a fabulous read. The plot was riveting and this near future SF thriller was not just exciting because of its action scenes, but also because of the questions it poses the reader. It’s a compelling, intelligent and, above all, fun story that will keep you reading for far longer than you intended.”
– Mieneke van der Salm, A Fantastical Librarian

“Great and thought-provoking stuff reminiscent of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or Accelerando by Charles Stross.”

“If it isn’t the cinematic handling of some very futuristic images or the curious immersion of cybernetic pondering into the narrative flow; Ramez Naam’s Nexus will impress a reader with one very unusual device: it is the unadulterated humanity with its entire heritage that is the most alien and unfamiliar of this world.”
– Katherine McCarthy, Institute for Emerging Ethics & Technologies

Nexus was a great debut and I can not wait to see what Ramez Naam comes up with next. Highly recommended.”
– Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Book Review

“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this for anyone looking for a good action yarn — it’s fast-paced, feels very hip and happening (even a bit “modern cyberpunk”-ish), and the author’s voice is genuinely refreshing.”
– R A Bardy, for the British Fantasy Society

“Michael Crichton has nothing on Ramez Naam when it comes to writing fast-paced scientific thrillers that ooze with authenticity. I could not put Nexus down and literally read until my eyes were crossed.”
– Merikay Noah, Popcorn Reads

“Readers will enjoy the excitement as Kade does his best to keep his friends safe and yet remain true to his own belief. Naam provides plenty of action and high body counts.”
– Mel Jacob, SF Revu

Nexus was definitely a thriller! This book made me think and I love books like that.”
Think Books

Nexus is a story everyone should read. As a cautionary tale, it will likely be considered in league with Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World in the years to come. The question is, will we learn from this one?”
– Jessica Nelson, AllwaysUnmended

“This is an action movie in book form. It’s Demolition Man, Replicant, Eagle Eye, Time Cop and all of those action Sci-Fi films we love to watch with a few beers, snacks and friends.”
– Ninja Ross, Trash Mutant

“Basically, it’s made of awesome … I LOVED this book and highly recommend it to fans of near-future science fiction, action/adventure, explosions, spies, and adrenaline rushes.”
– Char, Apocalypse Mama

“Naam writes clear prose that, if not particularly lush, is well-suited to the kind of story he tells. Action scenes are vivid and more imaginative than most thriller writers manage. Once the background is established, the pace is furious.”
Tzer Island

“The story is tense and exciting, with that ‘just one more chapter’ addictive quality to it.”
– Sarah Watkins, And Then I Read a Book

“Wow. I mean seriously, wow. This book is seriously science fiction, but like most good sci-fi reads, it is also a fantastic story outside of the science.”
C Michael Miller

“If you are looking for a powerfully stimulating book … about where things are going, with a complex hero / protagonist / antagonist structure, plenty of twists and turns, and great scifi that intersects with our reality, go get a copy of Nexus right now.”
Brad Feld

“I was worried that since this book was so ‘Far-future and Technologically based’ that it would be somewhat dull and action-less. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Start to finish Nexus is a thrill ride taking main character Kade into one unforgettable scene after another.”
– Liam at The Troubled Scribe

“Get your radar out / Acquire Ramez Naam / Lock On, and Read.”
Richard’s SF Ramblings

“I expected to read the book a little at a time over the course of the convention and then sporadically throughout my flights home, but that was not to be the case. It was too good for me to space it out.”

“Naam does a great job of making the science accessible and the action fast and furious. There’s enough down time to appreciate the difficult position Kaden is in while wondering how (and if) he’ll escape it. It’s a book that makes you think about science and technology and where we’re headed as well as what role governments should play – if any – with regards to regulating the advancements to come. In other words, it’s a great hard SF novel”.
Sci-Fi Fan Letter

“The most interesting aspects to me are the moral and ethical analysis on this theme, proposed by various characters and point of view. I liked also how this continuous reflection was able to make some change in the attitude of some characters. Overall the novel is quite inspiring.”
Life the Universe and Everything (Including Books)

“Nexus is the kind of sci fi you should be playing close attention to, not only because it makes for such a good read, but because we will eventually be caught up in these debates for ourselves and our societies.”
Violin In A Void

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