Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New hard SF debut novel: The Quantum Thief by Finnish author Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief (Gollancz, September 2010), the highly anticipated hard science fiction debut novel by Finnish writer, Scottish resident and string theorist Hannu Rajaniemi, is scheduled to be released later this week in the United Kingdom. Here’s the official promotional piece for The Quantum Thief:

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons -- the Dilemma Prison -- against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self -- in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . . [on Mars!]

As I mentioned in a previous post, award-winning British science fiction and fantasy author Charles Stross gave The Quantum Thief glowing marks. Now, over at Locus Online, noted SF&F scholars and critic Gary K. Wolfe reviews the new novel, concluding, “For now, he’s [author Hannu Rajaniemi] spectacularly delivered on the promise that this is likely the most important debut SF novel we’ll see this year.” 

The Quantum Thief is scheduled to be published in the United States by Tor Books in May 2011.

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