The Clockwork Rocket is Greg Egan's first Steampunk related title, although he seems to be going with his strengths giving Steampunk a more hard Sci-Fi edge than we normally see. Hopefully Egan's Orthogonal series is better done than Alastair Reynolds' disappointing Terminal World. The synopsis certainly intrigues me greatly and the cover does give a good Space Opera feel.
In Yalda's universe, light has no universal speed and its creation generates energy.The Clockwork Rocket will be released this July in the US by Night Shade and September in the UK Gollancz. Egan even has a page setup to explain the physics behind this Universe that is a bit over my head at this early hour, but there is also this handy video.
On Yalda's world, plants make food by emitting their own light into the dark night sky.
As a child Yalda witnesses one of a series of strange meteors, the Hurtlers, that are entering the planetary system at an immense, unprecedented speed. It becomes apparent that her world is in imminent danger — and that the task of dealing with the Hurtlers will require knowledge and technology far beyond anything her civilisation has yet achieved.
Only one solution seems tenable: if a spacecraft can be sent on a journey at sufficiently high speed, its trip will last many generations for those on board, but it will return after just a few years have passed at home. The travelers will have a chance to discover the science their planet urgently needs, and bring it back in time to avert disaster.
Orthogonal is the story of Yalda and her descendants, trying to survive the perils of their long mission and carve out meaningful lives for themselves, while the threat of annihilation hangs over the world they left behind. It will comprise three volumes:
Book One: The Clockwork Rocket
Book Two: The Eternal Flame
Book Three: The Arrows of Time
The view from Yalda's Spaceship:
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