Excerpt: CRASHING HEAVEN by Al Robertson (Gollancz)

RobertsonA-CrashingHeavenAl Robertson‘s Crashing Heaven is one of my most-anticipated novels of 2015. I’ve heard great things, too. In advance of a review, Gollancz have sent me this excerpt to share with you all. First up, though, the novel’s synopsis:

Meet Hugo Fist. The most terrifying and enticing AI to grace SF since the works of Al Reynolds and Hannu Rajaniemi

A diamond-hard, visionary new SF thriller. Nailed-down cyberpunk ala William Gibson for the 21st century meets the vivid dark futures of Al Reynolds in this extraordinary debut novel.

With Earth abandoned, humanity resides on Station, an industrialised asteroid run by the sentient corporations of the Pantheon. Under their leadership a war has been raging against the Totality – ex-Pantheon AIs gone rogue.

With the war over, Jack Forster and his sidekick Hugo Fist, a virtual ventriloquist’s dummy tied to Jack’s mind and created to destroy the Totality, have returned home.

Labelled a traitor for surrendering to the Totality, all Jack wants is to clear his name but when he discovers two old friends have died under suspicious circumstances he also wants answers. Soon he and Fist are embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not only their future but all of humanity’s. But with Fist’s software licence about to expire, taking Jack’s life with it, can they bring down the real traitors before their time runs out?

The novel is published in the UK on June 18th (tomorrow!). Now, on with the extract… Continue reading

An Aside: On a Bit of a SF Buying Binge…

I seem to be on an unusual sci-fi purchasing kick at the moment. Or, if not actively purchasing/pre-ordering sci-fi novels, I’m filing them away on my To Buy list, or on my Amazon wishlist. Today, I purchased Becky Chambers’s The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet — which was recently published by Hodder.

This is a little bit strange, because I don’t really read much sci-fi. Sure, I read almost everything set in Black Library’s Horus Heresy series (which is becoming a tad drawn-out), and I used to read every Star Wars novel I could get my hands on (as long as it was set after New Hope). But, over the past couple of years, I’ve cooled on SW novels (mainly because I haven’t really liked any that I’ve tried to read over the past couple of years). This has left a rather gaping SF hole on my shelves. Save for a mere handful of SF novels by Richard Morgan, Rachel Aaron, and … well, actually I think that’s about it… I just don’t read much SF. I read the first book in James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, Leviathan Wakes (Orbit), which was pretty good.

This fleeting observation made me look at my various lists and TBR pile, and it looks like there are going to be some interesting SF book in the next few months. Alongside Chambers’s novel, above, I recently acquired an ARC of Kim Stanley Robinson’s next novel, Aurora (Orbit, July 9th), which I’m really interested in reading; and also Justina Robson’s The Glorious Angels (Gollancz). I also pre-ordered Jason LaPier’s Unexpected Rain (Voyager, May 7th), and will probably buy Jamie Sawyer’s The Lazarus War: Artefact (Orbit) in the not-too-distant future. Looking a bit further ahead, Rob Boffard’s Tracer looks interesting (Orbit, July 2nd), as do Mike Brooks’s Dark Run (Del Rey UK, June 4th), Alex Lamb’s Roboteer (Gollancz, July 16th – I’ve preordered this, only £1.99!) and Al Robertson’s Crashing Heaven (Gollancz, June 18th). There’s also J.P. Smythe’s Way Down Dark (Hodder, July2nd). And, of course, there’s Ernest Cline’s Armada (Century, July 16th)… [Details for all of these titles after the break.]

So, maybe I have a few months of (uncharacteristic) sci-fi reading coming up?

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