From the bestselling author of the epic Malazan Book of the Fallen, comes a story of mankind’s first contact and a warning about our future.
An alien AI has been sent to the solar system as representative of three advanced species. Its mission is to save the Earth’s ecosystem – and the biggest threat to that is humanity. But we are also part of the system, so the AI must make a choice. Should it save mankind or wipe it out? Are we worth it?
The AI is all-powerful, and might as well be a god. So it sets up some conditions. Violence is now impossible. Large-scale destruction of natural resources is impossible. Food and water will be provided for those who really, truly need them. You can’t even bully someone on the internet any more. The old way of doing things is gone. But a certain thin-skinned US president, among others, is still wedded to late-stage capitalism. Can we adapt? Can we prove ourselves worthy? And are we prepared to give up free will for a world without violence?
And above it all, on a hidden spaceship, one woman watches. A science fiction writer, she was abducted from the middle of the street in broad daylight. She is the only person the AI will talk to. And she must make a decision.
Steven Erikson has one of the finest minds alive. Nothing less could have produced The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Now, in Rejoice: A Knife to the Heart, Erikson shows us what he sees when he considers the future of humanity. He calls it a thought experiment. I call it an important book
The SF book of the year, maybe the decade. Will make you long for an alien invasion. I loved it
The aliens have come to save the Earth. From us... Steven Erikson, master of high fantasy, has delivered an SF novel with the highest of high concepts. And it's no fantasy. An El Nino of a book, dense, provocative, essential.
Rejoice rejoices in satirising capitalism, dumb US presidents, greedy media moguls, impotent military high-ups and much more.
Eric Brown, The Guardian
a stunning novel of first contact and humanity's place in the world
Steven Erikson hasn't just reinvigorated the first-contact novel, he's reinvented it. This is a wholly original book, brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed, with a fascinating central conceit related to curbing human violence. A masterpiece
Robert J Sawyer
...the gags are good and the concepts fascinating
Mat Coward, Morning Star
This is startling and thought-provoking stuff - just what science fiction should be. Read it and try to think as you once did about, well, anything. Go on. I dare you