Transmaniacon by John Shirley
Paperback – Zebra – 1979
Foremost Professional Irritant, remarkable as acting both as burglar and inciter in the bizarre and pleasure-seeking world of the 22nd century is a fearless, ruthless man of ingenuity, completely overwhelmed with his own strength. His latest and most dangerous assignment is to steal
A dangerous and fragile device for the augmentation of the telepathic transfer of mania. By seeking out and amplifying strong, hostile human emotions, the excite can turn a street brawl into a raging mob and a border skirmish into a full-scale war. As soon as Ben has possession of it he will have the power to destroy
Conceived as the perfect defense against nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare, it was activated in 1989 — an invisible screen of densely flowing ions entirely enclosing the continental zone labeled ‘The United States’. Once the barrier is demolished Ben can escape
Transmaniacon” One of the earliest cyberpunk novels. Recommended.