The Ascendant Stars: Book Three of Humanity's Fire
by Michael Cobley
Orbit Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781841496351
Date: 03 November 2011 List Price £13.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Scottish author Michael Cobley, perhaps hitherto best known for his Shadowkings fantasy trilogy, returned to his science fiction roots with Humanity's Fire, a major new space opera series that was very enthusiastically received by readers and critics alike. Seeds of Earth and the second volume The Orphaned Worlds served to make Cobley a major name in British SF circles - the third volume The Ascendant Stars, looks set to cement that reputation.
A trade paperback released by Orbit.
"Battle-ready factions converge above Darien, all with the same objective. The goal is control over this newly-discovered planet and access to the powerful weapons at its heart. Despotic Hegemony forces dominate much of known space and they want this world too, but Darien's inhabitants will fight for their future. However, key players in this conflict aren't fully in control. Hostile AIs have infiltrated key minds and have an agenda, requiring nothing less than the destruction or subversion of all organic life. And they are near to unleashing their cohorts, a host of twisted machine intelligences caged beneath Darien. Fighting to contain them are Darien's hidden guardians, and their ancient ally the Construct, on a millennia-long mission to protect sentient species. As the war reaches its peak, the AI army is roaring to the surface, to freedom and an orgy of destruction. Darien is first in line in a machine vs. human war - for life or the sterile dusts of space."