Mindstar Rising is the first book featuring the psychic detective Greg Mandel. It's set in England during the first half of the Twenty First century, a time when the greenhouse effect has taken hold and produced radical changes to the climate. England has altered beyond recognition after enduring ten years of a hard-Left government little short of outright dictatorship, food shortages, a bankrupt economy, and industrial collapse. A global energy crisis has left few cars running on a decaying road network, jets have been replaced by more environmentally-sound airships, and the information culture bandwidth is approaching infinity. Companies own huge factory ships that they anchor in international waters to churn out pirated products which are smuggled ashore, untaxed and unregulated.
But now things are starting to recover. Water levels have reached their peak, people in the old temperate zones are learning to live with the heat. National economies are recovering, and for the companies that can adapt and restructure, the rewards are limitless.
At the head of England's industrial renaissance is the giant Event Horizon company, owned by Philip Evans. A maverick billionaire with only a short time left to live; whose teenage granddaughter, Julia, is the sole heir to his fortune. When sabotage is discovered in Event Horizon's orbital factories they call in Greg Mandel to expose the organisation behind it. A veteran of the Army's Mindstar brigade, he's been implanted with a biotechnology gland that can induce psi faculties. As a living lie detector, locating the disloyal employees should be an easy task for him.
However, the deeper he digs into the murky world of corporate politics, the more complex and dangerous the case becomes. Rogue financiers, old enemies, lethal hardware, and treacherous loyalties ultimately combine to threaten the world's fragile new stability.
Set two years after the events of Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder has the hallmarks of classic whodunit fiction; starting one dark and stormy night in an English country mansion where the old owner is brutally murdered. The victim is professor Edward Kitchener, a noble physics laureate. There can only be six suspects, the students locked in the house with him. Naturally they protest their innocence.
The Nano Flower takes place a further fifteen years on. With the world now firmly out of the recession that plagued the warming years, life has settled down to a quieter, more prosperous pace. Clean energy sources have reinvigorated the global economy. Asteroids shunted into Earth orbit are mined for their mineral resources. Democracy has returned to most countries. And strong Strategic Defence alliances safeguard nations from the possibility of sneak attack.
One last word on Greg. I keep getting asked if I'm going to write another book about him. I happen to think that the Nano Flower finished things rather neatly; or as one critic put it: the noise of loose ends being tied up is almost deafening. However, there is a file with notes on a novella set just after A Quantum Murder. I'm not going to drag him out of his well-deserved retirement yet again, but if I ever have the time I might look at his earlier life.
PETER F. HAMILTON
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