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Congratulations to Ken MacLeod!

So, how did you spend your Saturday evening? I spent mine at LX 2009, the 60th Eastercon, watching multiple World Fantasy Award-winning author, Tim Powers, present Ken MacLeod with a well-deserved BSFA Award for Best Novel for his latest book, The Night Sessions. A gripping hybrid of SF thriller and police procedural, The Night Sessions is set in the future of The Second Enlightenment, where religion has finally been crushed and removed from political life:

A priest is dead. Picking through the rubble of the demolished Edinburgh tenement, Detective Inspector Adam Ferguson discovers that the explosion wasn’t an accident. When a bishop is assassinated soon afterwards, it becomes clear that a targeted campaign of killings is underway. No one has seen anything like this since the Faith Wars.

After the Middle East wars and the rising sea levels – after Armageddon and the Flood – came the Great Rejection. The first Enlightenment separated church from state. The Second Enlightenment has separated religion from politics. In this enlightened age there’s no religious persecution, but believers are a marginal and mistrusted minority. And now someone is killing them. But who? And – perhaps more importantly – why?

The more his team learns, the more the suspicion grows that they may have stumbled upon a conspiracy way outside their remit. Nobody believes them, but if Ferguson and his people fail, there will be many more killings – and disaster on a literally biblical scale . . .

It’s a terrific book with a mystery to unravel and a future world to explore, told with the characteristic dry wit and insight that makes Ken MacLeod one of British science fiction’s most consistently interesting and acclaimed voices. But don’t take my word for it – you can read an extract of The Night Sessions, here, and if that whets your appetite, you’ll be delighted to learn that it’s out now in paperback from all good booksellers. Or you could always buy it in hardback if you wish – it is an award-winning novel, after all!

Congratulations, Ken, from all at Orbit!


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