September 19, 2017

New Sci-Fi Releases in Fall and Winter

The Hydrogen Sonata

Iain M. Banks and Peter F. Hamilton, two of the overlords of exciting, idea-driven science fiction will release novels in the coming weeks. Orbit will publish Banks’ Hydrogen Sonata on October 9, while Del Rey will release Hamilton’s The Great North Road the day after Christmas. Guess what’s on my list this year.

If you are unfamiliar with either writer, both novels offer an excellent starting place. Readers of Banks will note Hydrogen Sonata is about “the whole Subliming thing,” a reference to a civilization-changing decision faced by cultures within Banks’, well, Culture universe. To sublime is to let go of material existence and enter the immaterial realm. This is the decision facing the Gzilt. Read the first chapter here courtesy of io9.

Those unfamiliar with Hamilton’s work will be treated to a stand-alone novel, following his successful (and brilliant) Commonwealth and Void series. From the description at “A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family—composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone ‘brothers’ have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.”

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