cover image Mindstar Rising

Mindstar Rising

Peter F. Hamilton / Author Tor Books $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-31

Critically acclaimed in his native England for four novels, all SF, Hamilton makes his stateside debut with the novel that launched his writing career and that begins his Greg Mandel trilogy. Set in a 21st-century England recovering from massive global warming, the story reads like a collaboration between William Gibson and Ian Fleming. Freelance operative Mandel is a veteran of the Mindstar Battalion, whose men received telepathic powers via implanted glands. Now he is the ally of the teenage heiress of a high-tech industrial empire, Julia Evans, in a desperate battle against Kendric di Girolamo, a ruthless and obsessed financier, and Leopold Armstrong, former leftist dictator of England, who is trying to regain power. Plenty of action, exotic hardware (particularly computers), urban grunge, double handfuls of eccentric, decadent or criminal characters and enough willing women to raise the eyebrows of the politically correct hallmark this fast-moving tale. SF fans may particularly enjoy, as a change of pace, experiencing a vision of the future that coheres but that takes its clues from British, rather than American, society and history. (Aug.)