À espera de … (lançamentos internacionais)

É nesta altura do ano que se começo a antecipar alguns lançamentos, imaginando estes novos livros na minha biblioteca.

Vencedora de dois prémios BSFA no mesmo ano para categorias diferentes, Aliette de Bodard tem lançado várias histórias de ficção científica e fantasia com elementos culturais diferentes do usual. De origem vietnamita e francesa, a autora fala diversas vezes sobre os elementos que encontra noutras fantasias em que se assume que os hábitos ocidentais são gerais ao restante planeta Terra (como o comer pão ao pequeno almoço) e em formas de evitar tal generalização ou de tornar os hábitos descritos lógicos ao habitat em que ocorrem. Depois do sucesso que tem feito com a trilogia iniciada com The House of Shattered Wings, a autora lança agora uma  ficção científica que parece ter detalhes orientais:

Welcome to the Scattered Pearls Belt, a collection of ring habitats and orbitals ruled by exiled human scholars and powerful families, and held together by living mindships who carry people and freight between the stars. In this fluid society, human and mindship avatars mingle in corridors and in function rooms, and physical and virtual realities overlap, the appareance of environments easily modified and adapted to interlocutors or current mood.

A transport ship discharged from military service after a traumatic injury, The Shadow’s Child now ekes out a precarious living as a brewer of mind-altering drugs for the comfort of space-travellers. Meanwhile, abrasive and eccentric scholar Long Chau wants to find a corpse for a scientific study. When Long Chau walks into her office, The Shadow’s Child expects an unpleasant but easy assignment. When the corpse turns out to have been murdered, Long Chau feels compelled to investigate, dragging The Shadow’s Child with her.

As they dig deep into the victim’s past, The Shadow’s Child realises that the investigation points to Long Chau’s own murky past… and, ultimately, to the dark and unbearable void that lies between the stars…

Catherynne M. Valente já venceu diversos prémios no área do fantástico, tendo sido publicada em Portugal uma das suas obras premiadas (A menina que circum-navegou o reino encantado num barco que ela mesma fez – infelizmente com falhas de tradução e de revisão que tornam o livro pouco legível nalgumas partes). Inicialmente conhecida pela série The Orphan’s Tales, a autora tem-se distinguido com várias outras obras e uma extensa publicação de contos. Aqui dá todo um novo sentido ao termo Space Opera:

IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SING

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision – part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny – they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London – Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes – have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

Paolo Bacigalupi é o autor de uma das minhas obras de ficção científica favoritas, The Windup Girl. Conhecido por publicar obras em que se expressa a preocupação ecológica, apresentou neste volume um futuro pós-apocalíptico em que a subida das águas provoca uma crise energética e de alimentação, com a extinção da grande maioria das espécies vegetais comestíveis. No seu novo livro estabelece uma parceria com Tobias S. Buckell para escrever um livro de fantasia:

From award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell comes a fantasy novel told in four parts about a land crippled by the use of magic, and a tyrant who is trying to rebuild an empire – unless the people find a way to resist.

Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

In four interrelated parts, The Tangled Lands is an evocative and epic story of resistance and heroic sacrifice in the twisted remains surrounding the last great city of Khaim. Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell have created a fantasy for our times about a decadent and rotting empire facing environmental collapse from within – and yet hope emerges from unlikely places with women warriors and alchemical solutions.

Um momento na história acompanhado por um alienígena que deveria manter-se como mero observador da tragédia. Mas o saber do desenrolar não será capaz. Trata-se do primeiro livro de um novo autor publicado na Angry Robots, uma das principais editoras anglo-saxónicas do género.

In medieval Italy, Niccolucio, a young Florentine Carthusian monk, leads a devout life until the Black Death kills all of his brothers, leaving him alone and filled with doubt. Habidah, an anthropologist from an alien world racked by plague, is overwhelmed by the suffering. Unable to maintain her neutrality, she saves Niccolucio from the brink of death. Habidah discovers that neither her home’s plague nor her assignment on Niccolucio’s ravaged planet are as she’s been led to believe. Suddenly the pair are drawn into a worlds-spanning conspiracy to topple an empire larger than the human imagination can contain.

 

Depois de A Súbita Aparição de Hope Arden, a autora já publicou um romance que me parece bastante diferente (mas apetecível) The End of the day onde explora a figura da morte. 84K será o título que tem planeado para 2018, centrado num auditor criminal, responsável por garantir que os culpados por um crime pagam a dívida na totalidade à sociedade.

Theo Miller knows the value of human life – to the very last penny.
Working in the Criminal Audit Office, he assesses each crime that crosses his desk and makes sure the correct debt to society is paid in full.
But when his ex-lover is killed, it’s different. This is one death he can’t let become merely an entry on a balance sheet.
Because when the richest in the world are getting away with murder, sometimes the numbers just don’t add up.

 

Cory Doctorow tem escrito vários livros distópicos envolvendo a tecnologia actual e a excessiva vigilância do estado. Um dos seus livros mais conhecidos é Little Brother (publicado por cá com o mesmo título pela Editorial Presença) onde se faz uma analogia a 1984, mas nos tempos modernos e contendo como jovens as principais personagens. Por sua vez, Charles Stross é conhecido por livros de ficção científica pura e dura, com uma grande pitada de humor (como The Atrocity Archives). Este humor não é característico apenas dos livros, verificando-se, também, nas apresentações que tive oportunidade de assistir do autor. Juntos, criam este livro que, pelo título e pela premissa, parece, no mínimo engraçado:

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.

The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander… and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.

Um pensamento sobre “À espera de … (lançamentos internacionais)

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