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Head of Zeus
Too Like the Lightning
01 Jul 2017 * EBOOK * £6.99 * 9781786699473

The year is 2454: Earth's hard-won utopian society is threatened by a young boy with apparently god-like powers.

Fiction / FL (Science Fiction)
Extent: 576 pages
Exclusive sale: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG
Not for sale: CA US
Too Like the LightningTerra Ignota, 1Ada Palmer

The year is 2454.

Humanity has engineered a hard-won golden age, forged in the aftermath of a bitter conflict that wiped both religion and nation state from the planet. Now seven factions or 'hives' co-govern the world, their rule fuelled by benign censorship, oracular statistical analytics and technological abundance. But this is a fragile Utopia – and someone is intent on pushing it to breaking point.

Convicted for his crimes, celebrated for his talents, Mycroft Canner is the indentured instrument – and confidant – of some of the world's most powerful figures. When he is asked to investigate a bizarre theft, he finds himself on the trail of a conspiracy that could shatter the tranquil world order the Hives have maintained for three centuries.

But Mycroft has his own secrets. He is concealing a much greater threat to the seven Hives, a wild card no degree of statistical analysis could have prophesied. This threat takes the unlikely form of a thirteen-year-old called Bridger. For how will a world that has banished God deal with a child who can perform miracles?

Ada Palmer is an author, historian and composer. Her Terra Ignota series explores how humanity's cultural and historical legacies might evolve in a future of borderless nations and globally commixing populations. She teaches in the University of Chicago History Department, studying the Renaissance, Enlightenment, classical reception, the history of books, publication and reading, censorship and information control, and the history of philosophy, heresy, science, atheism. She is the author of Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance (Harvard University Press). She often researches in Italy, usually in Florence or at the Vatican. She composes fantasy, SF and mythology-themed music, including the Viking mythology musical stage play Sundown: Whispers of Ragnarok, and often performs at conventions with her vocal group Sassafrass. She also researches anime/manga, especially Osamu Tezuka, early post-WWII manga and gender in manga, and has worked as a consultant for many anime and manga publishers. She blogs for Tor.com, and writes the philosophy & travel blog ExUrbe.com.

Shortlisted for 2017 Hugo Best SF novel.

A 2016 Guardian Book of the Year.

Furiously creative debut novel from a new SF talent.

John W. Campbell Award Winner for Best New Writer.

MARKET: Paulo Bacagalupi; Cixin Liu.


'More intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall', Cory Doctorow

'The kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do', Jo Walton

'Thought-provoking, disturbing, occasionally perverted, and always entertaining. Worldbuilding at its richest', Kirkus

'Incredibly ambitious and groundbreaking ... Palmer writes gloriously lush prose stuffed with asides, allusions and nods to the reader', Guardian

'Admirable in its scope and attention to detail ... A book thats quirky and makes you think', Concatenation

'A powerful, beautifully written novel ... It is a mystery, historic document, social commentary and futuristic science fiction all combined to make an excellent novel', Concatenation

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