Tabit Ge­n­e­sis

SFX - - Rated book -

Not All About EVE

Re­lease Date: 21 May

416 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Tony Gon­za­les Pub­lisher: Gol­lancz

Clearly the first

vol­ume of a se­ries, Tabit Ge­n­e­sis be­longs to the genus Space Opera Big­gus Hair­ius, and is ac­cept­ably big and hairy, though it’s also rather dif­fuse and light­weight.

In the far fu­ture, Earth has been lost to aliens, and sur­viv­ing hu­mans have set up a frac­tious mini- so­ci­ety in a dis­tant galaxy – ac­tu­ally, sev­eral so­ci­eties, with bloody beefs be­tween them. One of the main rows is over a new class di­vi­sion be­tween nat­u­rally born hu­mans and those grown in ma­chines.

The book splashes around plea­sur­ably with familiar ideas, rather than find­ing a re­ally grabby hook of its own. The chap­ters skip be­tween loads of dif­fer­ent plot­lines and char­ac­ters: a boy mak­ing a won­drous con­tact with aliens above a gaseous planet; two scary war­rior sib­lings be­ing bred for great­ness by their kingly fa­ther; and ( the best strand) a deep cover, drug- ad­dled agent who keeps hal­lu­ci­nat­ing a taunt­ing Mino­taur. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween this un­sta­ble pair is like that be­tween Michael Keaton and his feath­ered tor­men­tor in Bird­man.

Th­ese sto­ries nat­u­rally con­verge, but their scope and va­ri­ety comes at the ex­pense of depth or be­liev­abil­ity. There’s lots of pulp melo­drama, and great dumpy wodges of ex­po­si­tionary prose in the early pages. It’s still en­joy­able, and it’ll be in­ter­est­ing to see where the se­ries goes in fu­ture books, but for now it feels stuck be­tween nov­el­is­tic SF and a lower- grade movie tie- in. An­drew Os­mond Au­thor Tony Gon­za­les was one of the folk be­hind space opera MMORPG EVE On­line; his pre­vi­ous books were set in its uni­verse.

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