Behind the Spin
From Larry Niven’s Ringworld to the immense ships and habitats of Iain M Banks’s Culture novels, science fiction has often been a genre for thinking big. Debut novelist Andrew Bannister certainly isn’t afraid to aim high, and he’s delivered an inventive example of large-scale SF in the multilayered Creation Machine.
The story is set inside an artificially constructed miniature galaxy, the Spin. While ex-soldier Fleare Haas escapes imprisonment and aims to get revenge on her politician father, elsewhere the corrupt and dangerous Alameche has discovered one of the powerful ancient devices that actually built the Spin…
Balancing bursts of action with expansive world-building, immersive prose and sharp dialogue, Bannister has made a colourful debut that conjures up the same kind of gnarly, lurid weirdness that made Banks’s SF epics so memorable. The narrative isn’t quite so strong, however – the book’s final third introduces new concepts that result in the plot losing focus. But despite some flaws in the storytelling, this is still a distinctive novel that hints at good things to come from this author. Saxon Bullock
Andrew Bannister’s day job is in construction – he’s an expert in green transport and corporate sustainability.