Imre Bergamasc wakes to find himself aboard a starship belonging to the Jinc, independent components of a human hive-mind which is searching for God on the edge of the Milky Way. Bergamasc has little recollection of his previous life, other than that he was a man. He's now a woman, rebuilt from DNA and memory downloads the Jinc salvaged from his partially destroyed life-raft. On learning that he was a soldier of fortune before his death, and fearing the Jinc's motives, he escapes and locates his former colleagues-in-arms and his lover. Only then can he piece together his former identity and work out what happened to the human race while he was dead. In the first book of the Astropolis trilogy, Williams renders the passage of aeons, and the rise and fall of civilisations, with cosmic poignancy.
Adelaide author, Sean Williams writes exceedingly good space opera. He's a master storyteller, carefully crafting tales that keep readers on the edge of their seats. Saturn Returns, his latest and the first in an exhilarating trilogy, is scientifically credible, ambitious, adventurous and thrilling. Williams' characters reside within complexly ornate social structures and in societies as elaborately elegant as a computer chip.
"This is my gothic-noir gender-bending space opera thriller, something I've been wanting to write for ages," Williams said.
The passion shows. The characters are wonderfully realised including one who speaks only in Gary Numan's song lyrics. With darkly brooding suspense and stylish plot twists, Williams shows his talent for placing his protagonist in impossible situations, where his worst enemy may be a portion of his own missing memory. Was Imre Bergamasc responsible for the fall of civilisation? Why did they resurrect him from information stored in a time capsule only to try and kill him again? Determined to learn the truth, Bergamasc puts his life - and the lives of his friends- in jeopardy.
Saturn Returns is a wildly original, totally convincing, all-round wonderful novel.