In Elizabeth Bear’s richly textured Ancestral Night there’s a hole in space-time, and the good ship Singer is going to see what’s on the other side. A sentient ship capable of complex thought, Singer is helmed by Haimey and her shipmate Connla. When Haimey boards a derelict ship the crew hopes to salvage and inadvertently discovers a heinous crime, the team realizes they’re in way over their heads. Bear gives her characters the space to develop on their own terms, never missing a chance to world build in the interim. It’s often by the slimmest of margins that our heroes avoid disaster, and only a thin layer of metal separates the “slowbrains” (read: things that breath air, according to Singer) from the vastness of space. But the profound connection between man and machine at its heart will keep readers turning the pages.
Alex Mar’s Seventy Times Seven begins with a heinous murder but then follows the inspiring path of redemption traveled by those whose lives were forever altered by that crime.