An exclusive two-in-one novel from the Science Fiction Book Club, set in Charles Stross Eschaton Universe: Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise.
Spaceship engineer Martin Springfield and U.N. diplomat Rachel Mansour hail from an Earth that has gone through the Singularity, an accelerated technological and social evolution far beyond anything we can imagine. The Singularity was triggered by the Eschaton, a super-powerful being descended from humanity that can travel in time and that essentially rules the universe. Springfield and Mansour meet on the home world of the New Republic, a repressive, backwater society that has outlawed virtually all advanced technology other than that necessary for interstellar warfare. When one of the New Republic's colonial worlds is besieged by the Festival, an enigmatic alien intelligence, the Republic counterattacks, using time travel in an attempt to put its warships in position to catch the Festival by surprise. Springfield and Mansour, working for different masters, have both been assigned the task of either diffusing the crisis or sabotaging the New Republic's warfleet, no matter what the cost.
In the 24th century, a McWorld ("bland, comfortable, tolerant... boring") called New Moscow apparently has been destroyed by trade rival New Dresdenbut not before New Moscow launched its own Slower-Than-Light (STL) counterstrike: a massive ship accelerated to 80% the speed of light. The U.N., now central Earth government, knows New Dresden was set up. They need the STL's recall code, now known only to a handful of New Moscow's ambassadorsbut someone has been systematically assassinating them. U.N. special operative Rachel Mansour and her husband, engineer Martin Springfield, must protect the last living ambassador and find out who's really responsible for the whole mess.
Charles David George "Charlie" Stross (born 1964) is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy. Stross was born in Leeds.
Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams, Neal Asher and Richard Morgan.
Photo: Photograph by Simon Bradshaw, 1 May 2009, Book signing at Forbidden Planet, London. Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.