The Geomancer


New Books by Robson & Meaney Out This Month

This month, we have two new books making their debut (and already spotted on the shelf at a local B&N). Coincidentally, both are tales of technological mind-control, albeit one is a techno-thriller set just around the corner from now and the other takes place in the future on a world far, far away.

Justina Robson's Mappa Mundi is a novel of hard SF exploring the nature of identity both inherited and engineered, from one of Britain’s most acclaimed new talents. In the near future, when medical nanotechnology has made it possible to map a model of the living human brain, radical psychologist Natalie Armstrong sees her work suddenly become crucial to a cutting-edge military project for creating comprehensive mind-control. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Jude Westhorpe, FBI specialist, is tracking a cold war defector long involved in everything from gene sequencing to mind-mapping. But his investigation has begun to affect matters of national security—throwing Jude and Natalie together as partners in trouble—deep trouble from every direction. This fascinating novel explores the nature of humanity in the near future, when the power and potential of developing technologies demand that we adapt ourselves to their existence—whatever the price.

Publishers Weekly gave Mappa Mundi a starred review, saying, "Robson's third novel to appear in the U.S. ... maintains throat-tightening suspense from its teasingly enigmatic introduction of its major characters to its painful conclusion that evil will succeed if well-meaning people try to achieve good at any cost....Shortlisted for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award, this near-future SF thriller presents convincing characters caught in profound moral dilemmas brought home through exquisite attention to plot details and setting."

John Meaney's To Hold Infinity is a stand-alone novel set in the same universe as (but centuries before) his acclaimed Nulapeiron Sequence.

Devastated by her husband’s death, Earth-based biologist Yoshiko Sunadomari journeys to the paradise world of Fulgar to see her estranged son in the hope of bridging the gulf between them. But Tetsuo is in trouble. His expertise in mu-space technology and family links with the mysterious Pilots have ensured his survival — so far. Now he’s in way over his head — unwittingly caught up in a conspiracy of illegal tech-trafficking and corruption, and in the sinister machinations of one of Fulgar’s ruling elite: the charismatic Luculentus, Rafael Garcia de la Vega. When his home is attacked, Tetsuo flees to the planet’s unterraformed wastes, home to society’s outcasts and eco-terrorists.

So Yoshiko arrives on Fulgar to discover Tetsuo gone ... and wanted for murder. Ill at ease in this strange, stratified new world seething with social and political unrest but desperate to find her son and clear his name, she embarks on a course of action that will bring her face to face with the awesome, malevolent mind of Rafael.

Connie Willis says of John Meaney's To Hold Infinity: “Dazzlingly imagined and dazzlingly executed…this is a work of true uniqueness by a true talent. Wow!” Publishers Weekly claims that Meaney “...brings a bright lights/big city sensibility to the normally streetwise milieu of advanced neuro-tech.”

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