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Creation Machine

Tor. (Spin Trilogy, Bk. 1). Mar. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9781250179135. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250179128. SF
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DEBUT Fleare Hass is the only prisoner on an isolated moon at the edge of the artificial galaxy known as the Spin. Incarcerated there since she and her fellow rebels lost their war against the Hegemony, she's broken out by Muz, a onetime fellow soldier and lover, now without a physical body. Meanwhile, in the inner region of the Spin is the Fortunate Protectorate, a society so barbaric that its neighbors prefer to leave its members to practice their schemes on one another. Among the schemers is Alemeche, who wants to leverage his knowledge of the discovery of a powerful artifact in a bid for more control. The artifact, found on one of the planets claimed by the Fortunate, might be a remnant from the creation of the Spin.
VERDICT Bannister cleverly brings it all home in this engaging, propulsive space opera debut that veers lightly into cyberpunk, as a simulated intelligence becomes key to the power struggles for the artifact. Fans of Iain M. Banks and Peter F. Hamilton will enjoy.

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