by R J Frith
Macmillan Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780230748910
Date: 05 November 2010 List Price £16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Uncorrected Proof Copy: The winner of Sci Fi Now's War of the Worlds competition, which ran last year, will - as part of the prize - now sees their work released by Tor Uk, one of our leading genre imprints. R.J. Frith (who, alas, has no web site or blog to link to) beat off all the other entries with The Nemesis List, pitched as a "Rip-roaring, commercial, character-driven space opera for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Gary Gibson's Shoal series.". Sounds good, no?
It's weird though that this competition, designed apparently to discover and bring forth brand new talent, has been won by a name which yields no discernible results when googled and which looks like an androgynous pseudonym. I don't believe, in this day and age, that any writer comes from nowhere. The publisher offers no biography in the press release and, well, what ought to have been a high-profile win with a new discovery paraded and applauded, seems in reality, be a rather less celebratory (and thus somehow less satisfactory) affair. Nonetheless, look out for The Nemesis List in November.
"Humanity has expanded into the stars but at the price of its freedom. An autocratic and overbearing Government now rigidly controls every technical and scientific advancement. Deviation is punishable by death. Out on the edges of space, criminals thwart the law, making money out of illegal tech, their ships jumping from galaxy to galaxy to avoid detection. Ex-soldier Frank Pak doesn't care about politics or breaking the law, he just wants to keep his ship running. When he's offered a contract to escort a runaway back home to his loving family – he doesn't ask questions.
But his cargo is more dangerous than he realizes. Jeven Jones is no ordinary passenger. A result of illegal human experimentation, he's a fast-tracked evolutionary leap into future. Thanks to his ability for perfect recall and a series of mental skills that he has no control over, Jones is a wanted man. The Government wants him dead. A fledgling revolution want to use him to unlock all the technology the Government has ever denied them. If Jones lives he'll start a war. If he dies the entire future of humanity dies with him..."