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When Robin wakes up in a clinic with most of his memories missing, it doesn’t take him long to discover that someone’s trying to kill him. It’s the twenty-seventh century, when interstellar travel is by teleport gate and conflicts are fought by network worms that censor refugees’ personalities-including Robin’s earlier self.
On the run from unknown enemies, he volunteers to participate in a unique experimental polity, the Glasshouse, constructed to simulate a preaccelerated culture. Participants are assigned anonymized identities: it looks like the ideal hiding place for a posthuman on the run. But in this escape-proof environment, Robin will undergo an even more radical change, placing him at the mercy of the experimenters-and at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.
Sometime in the twenty-third century, humanity went extinct—leaving only androids behind. Freya Nakamichi 47 is a femmebot, one of the last of her kind still functioning. With no humans left to pay for the pleasures she provides, she agrees to transport a mysterious package from Mercury to Mars. Unfortunately for Freya, she has just made herself a moving target for some very powerful, very determined humanoids who will stop at nothing to possess the contents of the package.
The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day.
Struggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan: Manfred, an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet; his daughter, Amber, on the run from her domineering mother; seeking her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut; and Sirhan, Amber’s son, who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanity.
For something is systemically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that has no use for biological life in any form.
DI Liz Kavanaugh: You realise policing internet porn is your life and your career went down the pan five years ago. But when a fetishist dies on your watch, the Rule 34 Squad moves from low priority to worryingly high profile. Anwar: As an ex-con, you’d like to think your identity fraud days are over. Especially as you’ve landed a legit job (through a shady mate). Although now that you’re Consul for a shiny new Eastern European Republic, you’ve no idea what comes next. The Toymaker: Your meds are wearing off and people are stalking you through Edinburgh’s undergrowth. But that’s ok, because as a distraction, you’re project manager of a sophisticated criminal operation. But who’s killing off potential recruits?So how do bizarre domestic fatalities, dodgy downloads and a European spamming network fit together? The more DI Kavanaugh learns, the less she wants to find out.
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com startup company that’s just been floated on the London stock exchange. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one-and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both…
Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives in The Family Trade, and with them an elite identity she didn’t know was hers. Now, in order to avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam, known as Lady Helge to the Family, starts applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade dominated by mercantilists—with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.
Charles Stross is one of the big new SF writers of the 21st century, and the saga of The Merchant Princes is his most ambitious work yet.
A G2 star doesn’t just explode—not without outside interference. So the survivors of the planet Moscow, which was annihilated in just such an event, have launched a counterattack against the most likely culprit: the neighboring system of New Dresden.
But New Dresden wasn’t responsible, and as deadly missiles approach their target, Rachel Mansour, agent for the interests of Old Earth, is assigned to find out who was. Opposing her is an unknown—an unimaginable—enemy. At stake is not only the fate of New Dresden, but also the very order of the universe.
And the one person who knows the identity of that enemy is a disaffected teenager who calls herself Wednesday Shadowmist. But Wednesday has no idea what she knows.
This much-anticipated debut novel is set 400 years in the future—and in the wake of perfected time travel, the ultimate advancements in technology and information, and the groundbreaking development of Artificial Intelligence. Is this all a great step for humanity? Or will it be our ultimate downfall?
Singularity Sky is a truly visionary novel of the future, and already its author, Charles Stross, has become the most talked-about new voice in science fiction…