cover image Neptune’s Brood

Neptune’s Brood

Charles Stross. Ace, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-25677-0

In this loosely connected follow-up to 2008’s Saturn’s Children, Stross injects the trappings of space opera with his own wildly imaginative concepts, weaving a tale of economic intrigue against a backdrop of eons and light years. In the year 7000, Krina Alizond-114, one of the robot-descended metahumans who succeeded humankind, is on a quest to find her missing sister Ana. As Krina travels across the galaxy one step ahead of a deadly assassin, she encounters eccentric monks in a spacefaring chapel, feral insurance underwriters, and undersea civilizations. At stake is a financial document worth untold amounts, and a secret that could rock the very underpinnings of the galaxy-wide economy if revealed. As always, Stross feels like the smartest guy in the room, pushing the boundaries of identity and humanity while offering up what may be the first epic tale of futuristic macroeconomics. It’s a little convoluted at times but wholly entertaining as the big picture comes to light. Agent: Caitlin Blasdell, Liza Dawson Associates. (July)