August Kitko and the Mechas from Space

Alex White. Orbit, $17.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-316-43057-9

White (A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe) launches the Starmetal Symphony series with this music-infused space opera smash. Brilliant pianist August “Gus” Kitko is hopeless in the face of the apocalypse. It’s 2657, and an alien artificial intelligence is wiping out human settlements across the universe, using extremely powerful robots called Vanguards to do its bidding. Though Gus has resigned himself to playing his piano as the Vanguards head for Earth, it turns out he may just be the planet’s last hope. A group of Vanguards shocks the universe by switching sides, and one of these rebels happens to choose Gus to be its Conduit, a kind of interpreter of humanity. Together, man and machine must join up with the other Traitor Vanguards and their Conduits to make humanity’s last stand on Earth. Music forms the backbone of this beautifully balanced, artistically rendered space opera, which expertly combines well-executed action with witty banter between charming characters. Fans of epic, feel-good sci-fi are sure to be wowed. Agent: Connor Goldsmith, Fuse Literary. (July)
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