Shards of Earth
June 7, 2022 9:42 PM - Subscribe

Decades after the destruction of the Earth by incomprehensibly powerful entities known as Architects, the crew of the salvage ship Vulture God is trying to keep their independence and eke out a living. But after what starts at as a promising job they find themselves caught between rival human government, alien criminal gangs, opportunists and cultists. The first entry in a new series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time.

The book takes place in a far future galaxy. The splintered human race is regaining its confidence--which means it has more time for politics, internecine struggles and plots motivated by blind self-interest.

Idris is a veteran of the old wars, mentally modified--and permanently scarred--in an attempt to create beings who had some chance of even briefly diverting the Architects. He works with a small crew of other humans and aliens, all looking out for each other, and is desperate to avoid any further entanglement with human authority.
posted by mark k (3 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of those books that feels like, but isn't quite, hard SF--lots of time is space and space suits and zero-G, but the tech is too advanced to really care about the underlying science.

I really liked this and would recommend it. Great writing; there are truly alien creatures in terms of both physiology and psychology, I loved the characters and their relationships, there are some edge of the seat action scenes and the end manages to be both really satisfying and complicate the plot in a scary way.

The crew in this was rather explicitly a found family, and one I totally bought into. About halfway through I realized that I was enjoying this for all the reasons I didn't really like perennial MeFi favorite The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet; I'm not sure that says anything good about me, given that Chambers' general warmth and kindness gets replaced by some pretty brutal scenes in this one. But the alien psychology, the humans with their damaged pasts, and the external threats to the crew were IMHO so much more palpable that watching them decide to stick together was just so rewarding and cathartic.
posted by mark k at 10:07 PM on June 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

Yeah I really enjoyed this. Lots of fun sci fi ideas, and the central crew are compelling. For those who enjoy 40k there is a certain similarity with some of the ideas (modified humans who can travel through the void, genetically created superhumans) but theres a lot to it. I particularly enjoyed the contrast of the two human civillizations, with neither being perfect by any means.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 10:12 PM on June 7, 2022

It's definitely a page turner. I loved the memorable and motley cast of interesting characters. I wish there had been maybe two or three fewer fight scenes; they happened so regularly that sometimes it felt like the story didn't have any time to breathe.
posted by kyrademon at 2:22 AM on June 8, 2022

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