I have to confess that it took me a couple of goes to get into this book. It's set in a far future, in polities that have been fractured from the Republic by a memory-editing worm. Transport is instant through T-gates. Manufacturing, even of oneself, is done through A-gates. The experimental polity in which our protagonist finds himself, for various reasons, is truly horrific. I thought it was a tedious mash-up of SF tropes at first, but it was so good, returning to the real world was a painful shock.