It is the aftermath of civil war in the vast pageant of planets and stars known as The Spin. Three years since he crushed the rebellion, Viklun Haas, industrialist and leader of the Hegemony, is eliminating all remnants of the opposition. Starting with his own daughter.
But Fleare Haas, fighter for Society Otherwise has had a long time to plan her next move. Sprung from her remote monastery prison and reuniting with a team of loyal friends, Fleare’s journey will take her across The Spin to the cluster of fallen planets known as the The Catastrophe Curve - and from exile, to the very frontiers of war.
Meanwhile, in the brutal and despotic empire of The Fortunate, word is reaching viceroy Alameche of a most unusual piece of plunder from their latest invasion. For hundreds of millions of years, the bizarre planets and stars of The Spin itself have been the only testament to the god-like engineers that created it. Now, buried in the earth of a ruined planet, one of their machines has been found . . .
Debut novelist Andrew Bannister comes to the genre with his talents fully formed in the ambitious, compulsively readable Creation Machine . . . [it] has everything: intriguing far-future societies, exotic extra-terrestrial races, artificial galaxies and alien machines dormant for millions of years. Bannister holds it all together with enviable aplomb.
Balancing bursts of action with expansive world-building, immersive prose and sharp dialogue, Bannister has written a colourful debut that conjures up the same kind of gnarly, lurid weirdness that made Iain M. Banks’ SF epics so memorable.
An excellent read that ticked the boxes for me. Augmented humans up to and including one as a cloud of nanomachines, Banksian drones and cruel politics. Grotesque and interesting alien life, and characters I cared about - all written in an engaging style.
A thrilling debut . . . delivers in spades everything I’m looking for in a Space Opera – imaginative settings, strange aliens, an arsenal of unusual weapons, and, most of all, characters I like and who I want to know what happens to them. This is a book that is fast-paced and stylish, but not one where its literary merits outweigh its sheer enthusiasm and sense of enjoyment . . . It reminded me of the first Peter F. Hamilton I read in its sense of epic-ness, or the first Iain (M.) Banks I read in its intelligent plotting and its sense of humour . . . I can’t recommend this one highly enough . . . should be a monster.
Bannister's a fresh, vivid and inventive voice, and Creation Machine's epic roller-coaster gives modern space opera a much-needed shot in the arm. The scale is Cinemascope, but he keeps a clear and intelligent focus on his characters, settings and ideas.