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Future Treasures: Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

Monday, December 11th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Elysium Fire-smallAlastair Reynolds’ 2007 novel The Prefect introduced Prefect Tom Dreyfus, a hardened law enforcement officer tasked with maintaining democracy throughout the Glitter Band, part of Reynolds’s Revelation Space milieu. Publishers Weekly called the book “a fascinating hybrid of space opera, police procedural and character study… solid British SF adventure, evoking echoes of le Carré and Sayers with a liberal dash of Doctor Who.”

A decade later Reynolds has written a sequel, in which Dreyfuss finds himself caught in a web of murderers, secret cultists, tampered memories, and unthinkable power. It arrives in paperback from Orion next month.

Ten thousand city-state habitats orbit the planet Yellowstone, forming a near-perfect democratic human paradise.

But even utopia needs a police force. For the citizens of the Glitter Band that organization is Panoply, and the prefects are its operatives.

Prefect Tom Dreyfus has a new emergency on his hands. Across the habitats and their hundred million citizens, people are dying suddenly and randomly, victims of a bizarre and unprecedented malfunction of their neural implants. And these “melters” leave no clues behind as to the cause of their deaths…

As panic rises in the populace, a charismatic figure is sowing insurrection, convincing a small but growing number of habitats to break away from the Glitter Band and form their own independent colonies.

Elysium Fire is Book 2 of 3 in the Prefect Dreyfus Emergency series. Our most recent coverage of Reynolds includes Brandon Crilly’s review of Revenger (which won the 2017 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book), and a look at The Medusa Chronicles, co-authored with Stephen Baxter. Brit Hvide at Orbit shares this take on the cover art:

Peer into the darkness! Gaze upon the future! And admire that sweet, sweet new cover for Alastair Reynolds’ latest space opera, Elysium Fire! That gold band you see on the cover? Nope, it’s not one of Jupiter’s rings, fancy space debris, or a futuristic engagement ring. It’s the Glitter Band, the setting for Reynolds’s latest adventure: ten thousand city-state habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, forming a near-perfect democratic human paradise. How’s that for scale?

Elysium Fire will be published by Orbit on January 23, 2018. It is 432 pages, priced at $15.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital editions.

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