<B>They're watching you</B> As the nation's cyber-security policy comes under review, energetic futurist Bruce Sterling's <B>The Zenith Angle</B> gets more timely by the minute, which will no doubt make this one of the few action novels that are must-reads this summer.

After September 11, 2001, gadget-obsessed computer scientist Derek Vandeveer is hired by the federal government to amp up its computer security. Through an odd series of circumstances, Vandeveer not only becomes pivotal in a number of governmental decisions but also becomes aware of a Star Wars weapon located where no one would ever think to look. Vandeveer's transformation from family man and information geek to muscle-bound cold warrior is a little hard to swallow, but Sterling's enthusiasm for the rest of the world including Bollywood movies, the future of the Internet, rocket design and the guts of how politics really work is more than enough to keep the pages turning in this fast-paced thriller.

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