Take a walk around Bristol, and history seeps from the walls. The
city can claim more than its fair share of firsts, including the first
iron-hulled steamship, the first female doctor, the first chocolate bar
and the first use of nitrous oxide as an anaesthetic, the invention of
the Plimsoll line, the first undersea telegraph cable, the world’s first
test tube baby and the first transplant organ grown from stem cells,
and a large share of the world’s first supersonic airliner. Now, from
this fertile ground comes an anthology charting other realities and
alternate histories, in a collection as rich and varied as the true
history of this great British city.
— Gareth L. Powell
What would happen if the world were ending?
A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.
But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .
Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.
A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.
As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.
Join the brothers Cabal as they fearlessly lie quietly in bed, fight dreadful monsters from beyond reality, make soup, feel slightly sorry for zombies, banter lightly with secret societies that wish to destroy them, and—in passing—set out to save the world.*
*The author wishes to point out that there are no zebras this time, so don't get your hopes up on that count. There is, however, a werebadger, if that's something that's been missing from your life.