There may or may not be spoilers. I don’t care. This is your only warning.
We get to know the development stories of New Orleans, Detroit, San Francisco and New York, in order to better understand the mechanism and root causes of Gentrification, which is not about Hipsters and Latte at all, but about rent seeking, backroom dealing to change the law, and – specifically in the US – also about the history and perpetuation of racism.
We meet Angelina Benenati. She’s a self taught hacker and database architect for Tomo, which is as much not Facebook as Avogadro Corporation is not Google and Braeburn is not Apple in Hertlings stories. She has a shady past, in which she hacked systems under the name of “Angel of Mercy”. She came out of an abuse relationship by the way of stealthily murdering her husband by the way of hacking the car’s computer, and she lost an arm in the resulting accident.
We also have Rowan, the Steerswoman. She is more than a navigator and map maker, she’s part of a group of people that believes in science, in documentation and in open sources – the steerswomen. When a Steerswoman asks, you must answer, and truthfully. If you ask any Steerswoman, she’ll also answer to the best of her knowledge and truthfully. As a group, they are gathering information about the world they live in.
Bob is in fact a dead computer programmer back from the destroyed and near inhabitable Planet Earth, who has been turned into an upload inhabiting a Von Neumann probe. His mission is to explore strange new world, going where nothing has gone before and make more of himself. You can read more of his Genesis in We Are Legion, Part 1 of the Bobiverse series.
The storyline continues with the characters and themes of the first book – it’s about atonement and redemption. And as we learn, not just about the redemption of Penny Royal, but also about the aftermath of the Human-Prador war and the redemption of the various persons (Human, Haiman, Prador and AI) that have been damaged by the war. We see in fact a lot more of the prador, and how the war affected them personally, and as a society.
The pacing is still slow in places, and not a lot of plot is happening, but there is a lot of background and development. Considering that this is the bridge book in a trilogy, it’s actually pretty good and satisfying.
“War Factory“, Neal Asher, EUR 5.99
I think I still have an October slot. Up and coming are the new Laundry Files, the new Bobiverse, the second part of River of Teeth (need to finish the first in time) and the new Stormlight Archive.
The final part of the Van Helsing’s Diaries by Peter Cawdron titled Nosferatu is out, and the entire series is available in one single Omnibus Edition.
Similarly, Maelstrom, the final part of Colliding Worlds, is out, and in an Omnibus, too. Maelstrom is also on kindle unlimited.
New in the SUB: Kim Stanley Robinson imagines a submerged New York in the year 2140.
After the sea level rose in multiple increments of three meters, the world change, and so did New York. It didn’t die, though. It just changed. Told from the viewpoint of different characters with differing levels of privilege and different interests, the real star of the story is the City.
“New York 2140”, Kim Stanley Robinson (Kindle)