In her electrifying new first novel, alt. culture diva Carla Sinclair spikes a fast-paced thriller with biting new-media satire to deliver a witty insider riff on wired life. Populated by the eclectic denizens of cyberspace, from jaded media-junkie journalists to hackers to Gen X icons, "Signal to Noise" begins in San Francisco's Multimedia Gulch and veers into a web of intrigue in which your sense of security lasts only until the next time you log on.Living at opposite ends of new media's hierarchy, Jim Knight — feature editor of the ultra-cool "Signal Magazine," the wired scene's monthly gospel of geek chic — and Kat Astura — unpaid 'zine drudge — are tossed together when Kat, mouse-clicking her way into trouble, blows $200,000 of Jim's money in a virtual blackjack game backed by an all-too-real organized crime ring.

Kidnapped and spirited off to the hinterlands by Way New mobsters, Jim and Kat race through the electronic byways of the San Francisco multimedia ghetto and the sandblasted Southwestern desert in a run for their money and their lives. Their initial conflict morphs into the wired world's quirkiest romance — and the key to their survival.

"Signal to Noise" is a wild ride through the posmodern netherworld of new media mavens, street culture and designer drugs, where business is pleasure and technology is the ultimate intoxicant. Carla Sinclair conjures up a brilliant mix of social satire, offbeat romance and suspense in a page-turning thriller that casts a sardonic eye on our fascination with new technology and its trappings.