From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters. Gollancz, $13.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4732-1476-7
Peters sets this top-notch blend of canny SF, crime thriller, and romantic fable two centuries in the future, after the enigmatic Masters have terraformed Earth and sprinkled humans onto 37 colony worlds. One such world is backwater Magenta, where government agent Keon Rause returns in semidisgrace after being thrown off Earth for botching a mission involving a mysterious Masters artifact. Keon is mourning his wife, Alysha, a fellow spy who was killed five years earlier in an Entropist terrorist explosion; he misses her so much that he has secretly commissioned an AI version of her that he calls Liss. He and Liss embark on a quest to discover what Alysha was investigating when she was killed, whether someone deliberately targeted her, and why, assisted by several colorful members of the Magentan intelligence service. Plenty of rock-’em-sock-’em quasimilitary action is played off against Keon’s wistful longing for the wife he’s lost, Liss’s near-human devotion to him, and a plethora of intelligently crafted futuristic technological details. This is a fascinating take on future interaction between human and artificial intelligences. Agent: Robert Dinsdale, Independent Literary (U.K.). (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 04/10/2018
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-1-4732-1475-0
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