The pick of this month’s paperbacks? Perhaps Neal Stephenson’s SEVENEVES ( , out now, The Borough Press). Set over a period of thousands of years, it follows what happens after the disintegration of the Moon obliterates civilisation on Earth, with humanity subsequently splitting into seven distinct races. We said: “Delights in playing with and confounding our expectations of what will occur in certain kinds of familiar SF stories… a fine novel that functions both as an adventure story, and a meditation on life and how to live it.” Or maybe it’s THE WHISPERING SWARM ( , out now, Gollancz). Michael Moorcock’s first major novel in a decade, it fuses auto– biography and fantasy, with characters from history and fiction meeting in a magical realm hidden in the centre of London – a realm that Moorcock himself (the novel’s protagonist) can access. We said: “Ludicrously ambitious and fantastically entertaining.” But then again it could be THE GRACE OF KINGS ( , 2 June, Head Of Zeus), the first in a new epic fantasy series by Ken Liu (translator of Chinese Hugo winner The ThreeBody Problem). Taking place in a Chinese-inspired setting, it follows the lives of two boys – one a commoner, one the last son of a noble house – who become close after rebellion breaks out. We said: “Seamlessly blends philosophy and politics with tense battles and compelling action… Sad, funny, poignant and addictive.” Look, just work it out for yourself, okay?