“A triumph.” Paul di Filippo, Asimov’s SF.
“…the sparse prose and acute social commentary of a latter-day Orwell…” Eric Brown, The Guardian.
“This isn’t just good sf – this is the kind of sf that should be written, that we ought to be out on the streets outside publishers demanding should be written…” – Gary Gibson
George Simling lives in Illyria, a city state founded by scientists and other refugees from the religious fundementalism that has swept the rest of the world. But Illyria is getting just as intolerant and narrow-minded as the countries that its inhabitants fled from.
George’s guilty secret is his obsession with Lucy, a syntec, a robot built for sex. When Lucy shows signs of self-awareness, George has two choices: to allow her to be ‘wiped clean’ (to have her emerging mind erased) or to escape with her to the outside world, the ‘Outlands’. But there she will have to pass herself off as human, or face certain destruction, because to Outlanders robots are demons, abominations, mockeries of God’s creation.
George sets out on a journey that leads him, through betrayal and madness, to the monastery of the Holy Machine, in a story that reflects on science and religion and the relationship between body and soul. (Published by Corvus).
Also available as an audio book.
Continue reading “The Holy Machine”
Charles Bowen is an immigration officer with a difference: the migrants he deals with don’t come from other countries but from other universes. Known as shifters, they materialize from parallel timelines, bringing with them a mysterious drug called slip which breaks down the boundary between what is and what might have been, and offers the desperate and the dispossessed the tantalizing possibility of escape.
Growing out of short stories such as ‘Tammy Pendant’, ‘To Become a Warrior’ and ‘The Welfare Man’, Marcher was originally published in the US under the Cosmos imprint. It is now available in a new and extensively revised edition, as of August 2014 from Newcon Press. (More details here.)
“One of the best SF novels of the year” (Colin Harvey, Suite 101, reviewing the original Cosmos edition of Marcher)
Marcher on Amazon UK. Marcher on Amazon US
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A collection of 14 short stories. WINNER OF THE EDGE HILL SHORT FICTION AWARD 2009, and the Edge Hill Readers’ Prize.
NB: Though Elastic Press is no longer in business, this book is STILL IN PRINT. It is also available on Kindle.
Comments from James Walton, Chair of Edge Hill panel of judges:
‘I suspect Chris Beckett winning the Edge Hill Prize will be seen as a surprise in the world of books. In fact, though, it was also a bit of surprise to the judges, none of whom knew they were science fiction fans beforehand. Yet, once the judging process started, it soon became clear that The Turing Test was the book that we’d all been impressed by, and enjoyed, the most – and one by one we admitted it.
‘This was a very strong shortlist, including one Booker Prize winner in Anne Enright, and two authors who’ve been Booker shortlisted in Ali Smith and Shena Mackay. Even so, it was Beckett who seemed to us to have written the most imaginative and endlessly inventive stories, fizzing with ideas and complete with strong characters and big contemporary themes. We also appreciated the sheer zest of his story-telling and the obvious pleasure he had taken in creating his fiction.’
The Turing Test at Hive UK/Waterstones /Amazon UK / Amazon US
Kindle version: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Continue reading “The Turing Test”