The Confederation, a multi-planetary post-singularity society, desperately wants to know how to achieve transcendence into an Elder Race. Their scouts encounter Darius, a lost colony world whose inhabitants have apparently discarded the technology that brought them to the planet, in order to adopt a virtually feudal culture.
But the scouts are shocked when they discover that the controlling elite, in each of the major centres of population, exhibit abilities that defy the accepted laws of physics. Although the population appear to believe their leaders to be capable of performing sorcery, the Confederation concludes they must in fact be using a technology sufficiently advanced to seem like magic. Is it a technology left behind by long-gone Elders, or an indication of an advanced race trying to control the colony – perhaps one of a number of such races who are intent on meddling in human affairs?
Either way, the need to understand and utilise such a technology leads the Confederation Security Council to launch an urgent mission to investigate Darius. Suitable specialists are swiftly enlisted to create a team, including both scientists and AIs, but all under military control. Protocol dictates that stealthy infiltration should precede initial contact, but the lack of sufficient prior observation and analysis will make it harder for the team to establish a credible cover story. Although their ship can remain in a hidden orbit, the research team will be on their own once they land, especially as Confederation technology seems to be unreliable or even inoperative on the planet’s surface. But they will soon discover that the people on Darius are not all the simple folk that they seem.
Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author, he has published five novels (so far) through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. The Royal Sorceress is his first novel to be professionally published. Chris is currently living in Scotland with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha.