SFX - - Reviews -

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?

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