Humanity 2.0 v Humanity 1.0
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”.