After seeing her name bandied about for some months, I decided to pick up Elizabeth Bear's first novel at the Clerksville library. (Fortunately for Ms. Bear, that humble institution has not fallen victim to the classic library blunder of stocking only book two or only books one and three of a trilogy, which has kept me from reading many a series).
Hammered is not as gritty as most vaguely post-apocalyptic SF, but that's because we don't see the chaos that the U.S. and other more equatorial nations have become; instead, Canada takes center stage and becomes just as manipulative and competitive as its neighbor to the south ever was. The actual story is a character-driven mystery involving tainted drugs, dead cops, and an old half-cyborg soldier who the government wants to bring out of retirement for upgrades. I'm curious to see where Bear goes from here. Good thing both subsequent volumes are waiting for me.