released OUT NOW! 432 pages | Paperback/ ebook Author Paul McAuley Publisher Gollancz There’s a throwaway quality
to much of the hipster- infused slang Paul McAuley uses in the second of his Choice series. On a distant planet opened to humanity after an encounter with ghostly aliens the Jackaroo, a woman called Lisa struggles with the aftermath of a “bad trip” after being infected by alien code. She’s soon visited by the “geek police”.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a frothy book. Rather, it’s a novel where the surface lightness, which finds expression in McAuley riffing variously off the mythology surrounding bike gangs, merchant family politics and the demise of Gram Parsons, never obscures the unsettling quality of so much that’s going on. Viewed as a standalone, Into
Everywhere is not complex structurally. Building on the future- history McAuley established in last year’s Something
Coming Through, it offers just two main viewpoints. There’s the tale of Lisa, a kind of programmer-archaeologist. Then there’s Tony, a rich boy trying to prove he deserves to be taken seriously. As both protagonists find themselves on the run, we gradually learn how their stories relate to each other in a novel that often comes across as a kind of cyberpunk thriller.
Again, though, the surface lightness is deceptive, because many of the book’s themes – in particular, its exploration of what a cataclysmic break with the past might mean for those concerned – are deeply serious.
Paul McAuley recently turned 61. We mention this only because
Into Everywhere, a book infused with energy and confidence, shows him shaping up to be one of those rare SF novelists – like Christopher Priest and M John Harrison – whose work gets better even as the bastard years go relentlessly past. Recommended.
A book infused with energy and confidence
McAuley has a story in anthology Drowned Worlds ( out on 14 July). It’s “kind of a prehistory” of the novel he’s now writing.