A disclaimer, just in case you don't know, but Alex Stewart is a long-time friend of mine and therefore I'm probably biased in my review. So I'll get that out of the way right now: go buy this book.
OK, plug finished.
I really liked Shooting the Rift. The story felt very comfortable to me. It had the feel of putting on a pair of slippers and dressing gown and curling up in comfort. At times the book read like yesterday's future of tomorrow, but Alex managed to remind me that the future will be unevenly distributed and the mix of tech levels as his protagonist travels from one world to another. Shooting the Rift features a fascinating melange of cyberpunk in a trans-human future where mankind has spread out across the stars; so while this is not full-fat, high caffeine, raw meat science fiction, it is in the tradition of grand sweeping space opera.
I'm so glad that I really enjoyed reading this, because so often when I read friends books they're OK but, they don't grab me and make me want to read the sequels. The denouement of Shooting the Rift leaves everything with the promise for more.
Quite frankly I want more and it can't come soon enough.