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Hannu Rajaniemi

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
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Fiction and Excerpts [2]

The Causal Angel (Excerpt)

, || Influenced as much by the fin de siècle novels of Maurice leBlanc as he is by the greats of SF, Rajaniemi weaves intricate, warm capers through dazzling science, extraordinary visions of a wild future, and deep conjectures on the nature of reality and story. In The Causal Angel we will discover the ultimate fates of gentleman rogue Jean de Flambeur, his employer Miele, the independently minded ship Perhonnen, and the rest of a fractured and diverse humanity flung throughout the solar system.

The Quantum Thief (Excerpt)

, || Jean le Flambeur gets up in the morning and has to kill himself before his other self can kill him first. Just another day in the Dilemma Prison. Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is a currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turned-singularity lights the night. Meanwhile, investigator Isidore Beautrelet, called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur....

Time Cracks Open for Leó Szilárd in Richard Rhodes’s The Making of the Atomic Bomb

My favourite opening of any book ever is the first paragraph of Richard Rhodes’s masterful nonfiction giant, The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Whenever I am asked about my favourite books, I read it aloud. You should do the same. Go on. I’ll wait.

In London, where Southampton Row passes Russell Square, across from the British Museum in Bloomsbury, Leó Szilárd waited irritably one gray Depression morning for the stoplight to change. A trace of rain had fallen during the night; Tuesday, September 12, 1933, dawned cool, humid and dull. Drizzling rain would begin again in early afternoon. When Szilárd told the story later he never mentioned his destination that morning. He may have had none; he often walked to think. In any case another destination intervened. The stoplight changed to green. Szilárd stepped off the curb. As he crossed the street time cracked open before him and he saw a way to the future, death into the world and all our woe, the shape of things to come.

Szilárd, a Hungarian physicist, has just invented the chain reaction that makes liberation of atomic energy possible—it takes Rhodes a while to get to that. But that paragraph has already set off ideas colliding and splitting and exploding in our brains. I love everything about it: the perfect cadence, the confident sketch of grey rainy London, the hint of Szilárd’s inner turmoil—and most of all, the sudden transformation of the mundane into the wondrous. Rhodes may be writing what he calls verity, applying the craft of fiction to real events, but that moment captures the very heart of science fiction.

[Read more]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

The Causal Angel (Excerpt)

Check out The Causal Angel, the third and final book in Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean de Flambeur series. The novel is available July 15th in the US from Tor Books and July 17th from Gollancz!

Influenced as much by the fin de siècle novels of Maurice leBlanc as he is by the greats of SF, Rajaniemi weaves intricate, warm capers through dazzling science, extraordinary visions of a wild future, and deep conjectures on the nature of reality and story.

In The Causal Angel we will discover the ultimate fates of gentleman rogue Jean de Flambeur, his employer Miele, the independently minded ship Perhonnen, and the rest of a fractured and diverse humanity flung throughout the solar system.

[Read an Excerpt]

The Quantum Thief (Excerpt)

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Quantum Thief, out from Tor Books on May 10, 2011.

***

Chapter 1: The Thief and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

 

As always, before the warmind and I shoot each other, I try to make small talk.

“Prisons are always the same, don’t you think?”

I don’t even know if it can hear me. It has no visible auditory organs, just eyes, human eyes, hundreds of them, in the ends of stalks that radiate from its body like some exotic fruit. It hovers on the other side of the glowing line that separates our cells. The huge silver Colt would look ridiculous in the grip of its twiglike manipulator limbs if it hadn’t already shot me with it fourteen thousand times.

“Prisons are like airports used to be on Earth. No one wants to be here. No one really lives here. We’re just passing through.”

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