You can’t seem to move recently for Charles Stross books hitting the shelves. The last few months have seen the release of Rapture Of The Nerds (his collaboration with Cory Doctorow), along with the remixed three-volume version of the Merchant Princes saga, and now there’s another new novel for fans to sink their teeth into.
It sees him switching to space opera mode for a loose follow-up to his 2008 release Saturn’s Children , taking us on a madly inventive journey into a future where traditional humanity has been extinct for 5000 years.
Neptune’s Brood is the story of Krina Alizond, a metahuman scholar and financial expert whose sister has gone missing, leaving a trail of clues that leads her deep into the oceans of watery world Shin-Tethys. Getting there involves tangling with assassins and pirates, but it also soon becomes clear this is all somehow connected to a massive intergalactic financial scam...
Stross is on great form, delivering a piece of intellectually rigorous science fiction that’s also a riotously entertaining romp, matching his Laundry series for off-the-wall imagination and bizarre in-jokes. The level of invention is as impressive as ever, with virtually every page crammed to bursting with incredible concepts, while the slow-burning mystery turns out to be well-crafted and gripping in the extreme.
Witty, smart and more relevant than you’d expect, this is a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi mind-expander from one of the genre’s most reliable imaginations.
Saxon Bullock twitter.com/saxonb
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