Synopses & Reviews
A riveting, beautifully written, fugue-like novel of AIs, memory, violence, and mortality.
Not far in the future the seas have risen and the central latitudes are emptying, but it's still a good time to be rich in San Francisco, where weapons drones patrol the skies to keep out the multitudinous poor. Irina isn't rich, not quite, but she does have an artificial memory that gives her perfect recall and lets her act as a medium between her various employers and their AIs, which are complex to the point of opacity. It's a good gig, paying enough for the annual visits to the Mayo Clinic that keep her from aging.
Kern has no such access; he's one of the many refugees in the sprawling drone-built favelas on the city's periphery, where he lives like a monk, training relentlessly in martial arts, scraping by as a thief and an enforcer. Thales is from a different world entirely — the mathematically inclined scion of a Brazilian political clan, he's fled to L.A. after the attack that left him crippled and his father dead.
A ragged stranger accosts Thales and demands to know how much he can remember. Kern flees for his life after robbing the wrong mark. Irina finds a secret in the reflection of a laptop's screen in her employer's eyeglasses. None are safe as they're pushed together by subtle forces that stay just out of sight.
Vivid, tumultuous, and propulsive, Void Star is Zachary Mason's mind-bending follow-up to his bestselling debut, The Lost Books of the Odyssey.
"Readers who enjoy Cormac McCarthy and China Mieville but wished they had had more influence from Neal Stephenson might find this book is just what they’re looking for." Dawn Kuczwara, Booklist
"Zachary Mason’s magisterial new novel is a passionate immersion in science fiction, sure todelight even the most hardcore devotees of Samuel R. Delany, China Miéville,and Philip K. Dick. The greatest speculative writing intoxicates and terrifiesus in equal measure with the visions it offers, and in this Void Star is no exception. A dazzling book." John Wray, author of The Lost Time Accidents
"Void Star is an extraordinary novel. The hallucinatory beauty of the prose is matched only by the book's velocity and mystery, and the story — of mortality, memory, and what it means to be human — holds all the force and power of mythology." Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
"Code becomes flesh in Zachary Mason's sentences. He shows us the near future of technological experience, where death becomes a 'stillness in memory,' and God is a pattern of numbers. This is the best and most beautiful book about computers since Neuromancer." Michael Clune, author of Gamelife: A Memoir
About the Author
Zachary Mason is a computer scientist and the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Lost Books of the Odyssey. He lives in California.