Monday, July 21, 2008

Books in the Mail (W/E 7/19)

Misspent Youth by Peter F. Hamilton - 2040. After decades of concentrated research and experimentation in the field of genetic engineering, scientists of the European Union believe they have at last conquered humankind’s most pernicious foe: old age. For the first time, technology holds out the promise of not merely slowing the aging process but actually reversing it. The ancient dream of the Fountain of Youth seems at hand.

The first subject for treatment is seventy-eight-year-old philanthropist Jeff Baker. After eighteen months in a rejuvenation tank, Jeff emerges looking like a twenty-year-old. And the change is more than skin deep. From his hair cells down to his DNA, Jeff is twenty–with a breadth of life experience.

This novel is set in Hamilton’s Commonwealth Universe and I’m looking forward to reading this one whilst waiting for the next Void novel. What I received was an ARC of the book which publishes in September

The Last Theorem by Arthur C. Clarke & Fred Pohl – This is the final published version of the ARC I received a few weeks ago. The two SF giants collaborate on a story of one man’s mathematical obsession, and a celebration of the human spirit and scientific method. Throw in the thread of all-but-omnipotent aliens and you might have the makings of an instant modern classic. The story is of a young Sri Lankan mathematician who finds a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and is hired by the CIA because of the high interest in cryptographic applications of the proof.

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks - The man known as Cheradenine Zakalwe was one of Special Circumstances’ foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the Culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action. The woman known as Diziet Sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.

The drone known as Skaffen-Amtiskaw knew both of these people. It had once saved the woman’s life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. It believed the man to be a lost cause. But not even its machine could see the horrors in his past.

Orbit was kind enough to send me the first two books in Banks's Culture series a month or two ago and now I have the third. After reading Matter, I'll be jumping into these books at some point. Orbit is using a simple, yet effective and nice little logo and design treatment for the whole series that works really well.

On a separate note, I saw The Dark Knight on Friday, but that really deserves a post of its own.

Reading through Heroes Die, I'm realizing what a tricksy writer Matt Stover really is. I hadn't taken note before, but the way he plays with narrative voice in this novel is something subtle, but all the more effective because of its subtlety.

No comments: