|$14.95 reprint pb; 304 pgs|
I also noted this was a Hugo Nominee in 1985, pitted against the likes of:
Neuromancer by William Gibson [Ace, 1984]
Emergence by David R. Palmer [Bantam, 1984]
The Peace War by Vernor Vinge [Bluejay, 1984]
Job: A Comedy of Justice by Robert A. Heinlein [Ballantine Del Rey, 1984]
The Integral Trees by Larry Niven [Ballantine Del Rey, 1984]
A rather eclectic selection of books, with the winner being Neuromancer by Gibson. Cyberpunk.
The book dealt with fear and paranoia on both sides - the 'Tinkers' fear of being discovered as one tried to 'reinvent' past contraptions, electronics, and other devices; and the Peace Authorities fear of someone actually doing exactly that. It went farther though, it was the fear of one man in the Peace Authority and his all encompassing paranoia of one man - a Tinker - who in his mind had created the whole problem in the first place. Which never really made sense and left me scratching my head more often than not.
Worth reading, but not one of Vinge's best in my opinon.