Results of the Arthur C. Clarke Award in the year 2009.
A man lies half-drowned on a Cornish beach at dawn in the furthest days of this century. The old woman who discovers him, once a famous concert violinist, is close to death herself…or a new kind of life she can barely contemplate. Does death still exist at all, or has it finally been obliterated? And who is this strange man she’s found? Is he a figure returned from her past, a new messiah, or an empty vessel? Is he God, or the Devil?
Filled with love and music, death and life, mind-stretching ideas and sheer, simple humanity, spanning the world from the suburbs of Birmingham to the streets of a new-Renaissance Paris via the ruins of post-apocalyptic India, is Song of Time.
Multi-award winning author Ian R MacLeod here creates some of his most powerful scenes, and his most extraordinary, and yet most believable, characters. If you care about the future, if you care about good story-telling, Song of Time is a must-read.
Anathem is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.
Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times…[more]
Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every two hundred thousand years, to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.
Campion and Purslane are not only late for their thirty-second reunion, but they have brought along an amnesiac golden robot for a guest. But the wayward shatterlings get more than the scolding they expect: they face the discovery that someone has a very serious grudge against the Gentian line, and there is a very real possibility of traitors in their midst. The surviving shatterlings have to dodge exotic weapons while they regroup to try to solve the mystery of who is persecuting them, and why—before their ancient line is wiped out of existence, for ever.
The myriad alien civilizations populating far, distant worlds have many good reasons to detest the blight called “humankind”…
The only human child living in a work colony on the Martian satellite Phobos, little Margaret Bain has invented six imaginary companions to keep boredom and loneliness at bay. Each an extension of her personality, they are lost to her when she is forced to return to Earth. But they are not gone.
The time will come when Margaret, fully grown and wed, must leave this dying world as well—this Earth so denuded by thoughtlessness and chemistry that its only viable export is slaves. For now Margarets are scattered throughout the galaxy. And their creator must bring her selves home…or watch the human race perish.
An episode of Porn Disco, the latest luxury Dermo Shower, a day’s work at the Security Department and fistfuls of drugs: this is the daily life of Jensen Interceptor, “ace” government spy.
Fresh out of Study Centre 16, Jensen is ambitious; he wants to pay off his student debts as soon as possible and blag his way to the top, helping the government instil its dream and mantra: Unity and Success. And there will be other rewards: a life of government-sanctioned vice is guaranteed, he’ll get to live out his days in the floodlit safety of south London, never venturing into the wastelands of the north with its povos and tramps.
His first assignment is a simple one: keep an eye on Reg Rankin, a low-level security threat and leader of the Martin Martinists, a small group who believe that Martin Martin, a phoney TV psychic consigned to the daytime schedules back in 2008, was…[more]
Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by climate change, looks backwards to the holy ideal of a pre-industrial Eden. Political power has been grabbed by a few powerful families and their green saints. Millions of people are imprisoned in teeming cities; millions more labour on Pharaonic projects to rebuild ruined ecosystems.
On the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth’s repressive regimes, have constructed a wild variety of self-sufficient cities and settlements: scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the last outposts of every kind of democratic tradition. The fragile detente between the Outer cities and the dynasties of Earth is threatened by the ambitions of the rising generation of Outers, who want to break free of their cosy, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonise the rest of the Solar System, and drive human evolution in a hundred new directions. …[more]