cover image Echopraxia


Peter Watts. Tor, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2802-1

Hugo-winner Watts attempts “faith-based hard SF” in this dense, fast-moving companion to 2006’s Blindsight set in a late-21st-century world of genetically resurrected vampires, weaponized zombies, and Nobel-winning monastic hive minds. Daniel Brüks, obsolete in every way—human in a posthuman world, a field biologist despite biology’s merger with technology, an atheist despite religion’s recent triumphs over science—is dragged onto a Rapture-guided ship, the Crown of Thorns, and taken on a mission to investigate possible transmissions from the lost spaceship Theseus. Brüks is soon trapped between a vampire and a physics-breaking “postbiological” organism. Watts displays his knack for meticulously researched, conventionally unsympathetic characters, and their complex manipulations give color to an environment in which it is difficult to distinguish bloody catastrophe from “plans within plans.” The novel delivers an intricately inventive and coolly deterministic lesson in the futility of trying to outthink evolution, less a critique of human transcendence than an indictment of its basic assumptions. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Aug.)