“This is a hugely fun ride. It has empires crashing, civil wars, aliens, humans, scheming clans, plucky young heroes and villains fighting battles in huge starships--- what more can you ask for?”
“Walter Jon Williams has been compared to writers as diverse as Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen; both comparisons, bizarrely, make sense. This is classic space opera, elegantly written and beautifully plotted.”
For millennia the alien Shaa have ruled their empire with a merciless hand. But soon their rule will end, and their subject species are already beginning to bid for power. Will their ruthless competition lead to bloody chaos, or a tyranny even worse than that of the Shaa?
Cadet Caroline Sula is a brilliant, beautiful, brittle officer with a deadly secret that could bring her career crashing in ruins. Lt. Gareth Martinez is a provincial who struggles for recognition by the glittering lords of the empire. Together they discover that one of the empire’s subject races is planning a murderous conquest that will leave humanity helpless, and soon they’re in a fight against overwhelming odds to save humanity’s last hope from extinction.
Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has been listed on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and the Times of London. He is the author of twenty-seven novels and three collections of short fiction.
His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as "a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars." In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, “Daddy’s World,” and won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”
He has also written for George RR Martin's Wild Cards project.
His latest work is The Fourth Wall, a near-future thriller set in the world of alternate reality gaming.
Walter has also written for comics, the screen, and for television, and has worked in the gaming field. He was a writer for the alternate reality game Last Call Poker, and has scripted the mega-hit Spore.
"The Rift would be a very good beach book, if you could put it down long enough to get into the water." —— The San Diego Union Tribune
FRACTURE LINES PERMEATE THE CENTRAL UNITED STATES. Some comprise the New Madrid fault, the most dangerous earthquake zone in the world. Other fracture lines are social—— economic, religious, racial, and ethnic.
What happens when they all crack at once?
Caught in the disaster as cities burn and bridges tumble, young Jason Adams finds himself adrift on the Mississippi with African-American engineer Nick Ruford. A modern-day Huck and Jim, they spin helplessly down the river and into the widening faults in American society, encountering violence and hope, compassion and despair, and the primal wilderness that threatens to engulf not only them, but all they love...
" A breakout book that you'll swear the author lived" —— SF Age
"I don't like disaster novels. I would not have even glanced at The Rift if it weren't backed by Walter Jon Williams' reputation for excellence. And I definitely would not have kept reading if Williams hadn't demonstrated on every page that he deserves his reputation. The result? I was so engrossed in—— and engaged by ——The Rift that I forgot that I don't like disaster novels. This book is an impressive achievement.”
—— Stephen R. Donaldson, New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
"The Rift is bloody wonderful! Williams brings an historic disaster back for an encore and metaphorically flattens it again. This is the stuff for which sleep is lost--and awards are made." —— Dean Ing
"The Rift shakes up the world like it's never been shaken before." —— Fred Saberhagen
"[For fans of the disaster novel] Williams delivers the requisite thrills and setpieces—— but he also, to paraphrase Conrad, offers a bit of that truth for which they forgot to ask." —— Locus
The first book in the completed Dread Empire's Fall trilogy, followed by The Sundering and Conventions of War.
All will must bend to the perfect truth of The Praxis
For millennia, the Shaa have subjugated the universe, forcing the myriad sentient races to bow to their joyless tyranny. But the Shaa will soon be no more. The dread empire is in its rapidly fading twilight, and with its impending fall comes the promise of a new galactic order . . . and bloody chaos.
A young Terran naval officer marked by his lowly birth, Lt. Gareth Martinez is the first to recognize the insidious plot of the Naxid -- the powerful, warlike insectoid society that was enslaved before all others -- to replace the masters’ despotic rule with their own. Barely escaping a swarming surprise attack, Martinez and Caroline Sula, a pilot whose beautiful face conceals a deadly secret, are now the last hope for freedom for every being who ever languished in Shaa chains -- as the interstellar battle begins against a merciless foe whose only perfect truth is annihilation.
Following The Praxis, Walter Jon Williams’ critically-acclaimed mix of space opera and military science fiction, the conflict grows for the fate of humanity…and the universe.
The Dread Empire of the Shaa is no more, following the death of the last oppressor. But freedom remains elusive for the myriad sentient races enslaved for ten centuries, as an even greater terror arises. The Naxids—a powerful insectoid species themselves subjugated until the recent Shaa demise—plan to fill the vacuum with their own bloody domination, and have already won a shattering victory with superior force and unimaginable cruelty. But two heroes survived the carnage at Magaria: Lord Gareth Martinez and the fiery, mysterious gun pilot Lady Caroline Sula, whose courageous exploits are becoming legend in the new history of galactic civil war. Yet their cunning, skill, and bravery may be no match for the overwhelming enemy descending upon the loyalist stronghold of Zanshaa, as the horrific battle looms that will determine the structure of the universe—and who shall live to inhabit it—for millennia to come.