Hu­man­ity 2.0 v Hu­man­ity 1.0

SFX - - Rated / Books -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

448 pages | Pa­per­back/ ebook Au­thor: Alex Lamb Pub­lisher: Gol­lancz

Will Kuno- Monet has

re­ceived an up­grade. As a techen­hanced and ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied robo­teer, he’s a kind of su­per­charged hacker, able to han­dle vast flows of in­for­ma­tion dur­ing space bat­tles. It’s an abil­ity he needs be­cause his exo- planet colony, Galatea, is at war with an Earth that’s turned to re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism.

Worse, the Earth­ers, who have pre­vi­ously re­lied largely on brute force and hate Will’s aug­men­ta­tions, have a pow­er­ful new weapon. How did they make such a tech­no­log­i­cal leap? The fa­mil­iar an­swer is that Earth has had an en­counter with a Mys­te­ri­ous Alien Arte­fact.

The aliens aren’t too im­pressed with the Earth­ers, but their in­ter­est is piqued by Will’s aug­men­ta­tions. The ground is laid out for a novel that, in its best mo­ments – by which we pri­mar­ily mean the big set­pieces where space­ships pum­mel each other – re­calls Peter F Hamil­ton. If some of the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion is less ably han­dled ( the main bad­die isn’t nu­anced enough, and some of Will’s fel­low spac­ers are a bit too generic crew­mate) and the dis­cus­sion of tran­shu­man­ism/ posthu­man­ism vs be­ing a meat pup­pet isn’t al­ways tightly enough wo­ven into the plot, that’s for­giv­able in a de­but.

Be­sides, Lamb also shares Hamil­ton’s abil­ity to sus­tain a break­neck nar­ra­tive where you al­ways want to rush ahead to see what hap­pens next. Hugely promis­ing – and there are two more nov­els in the se­quence to fol­low. Jonathan Wright Alex Lamb also teaches im­pro­vised theatre, and claims to be “Bri­tain’s fore­most ex­pert on spon­ta­neous plot­ting”.

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