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Tobias Buckell

By / February 20, 2017 / no comments

Nalo Hopkinson isn’t the only Caribbean writer to have emerged in recent years, there’s also Tobias S. Buckell who was born on Grenada, but his Caribbean roots have affected his science fiction in very different ways.

Crystal Rain   Ragamuffin: A Novel   Sly Mongoose   The Apocalypse Ocean

He first came to prominence with his Xenowealth or Benevolent Satrapy sequence. The sequence begins with Crystal Rain, set on a colony planet where space technology has been largely forgotten. The culture is basically Caribbean, but long ago a brutal Azteca race arrived. After a bloody war, the two cultures settled into an uneasy truce, but now that truce is breaking down. That first book may have been intended as a standalone, but he followed it with three others using roughly the same background but opening the story up into a space opera. In Ragamuffin we start to explore an empire of worlds linked by wormholes and ruled by secretive aliens known as Satraps, who can cut entire worlds off from the rest of the universe, such as the world in Crystal Rain. Now the Satraps are preparing to embark on a campaign of extermination to get rid of troublesome humans. The third novel set in the same universe, Sly Mongoose, takes place on a planet of acid rain and crushing pressure, where people are lowered to the surface in armoured suits to scavenge for a living. But deep within the hostile planet lies a secret that could lead to interplanetary war. The fourth novel in the sequence, The Apocalypse Ocean, follows humanity as they struggle to gain control of the empire and re-establish links between the worlds.

Xenowealth: A CollectionThere is also a collection of short stories, Xenowealth: A Collection, set within the same universe. It is one of a number of short story collections from Buckell, including Tides from the New WorldsNascence: 17 Failed Stories and What They Taught Me and most recently Mitigated Futures.

Tides From the New Worlds   Nascence: 17 Failed Stories and What They Taught Me   Mitigated Futures

Halo: The Cole ProtocolMetatropolisHe has done some work writing in shared worlds or in collaborative efforts. The Cole Project is one of a series of novels based on the game Halo; and he was also one of the writers involved in the collaborative short story collection, Halo Evolutions: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe. He was also one of the writers involved in the METAtropolis shared world audio book created with John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake and Karl Schroeder.

His standalone novels are more interesting, however, and most recently he has embarked on ecologically aware fiction that explores the consequences of climate change. In the first, Arctic Rising, the Arctic icecap has melted, and while the majority or people suffer, global corporations find a new source of wealth. But an invention intended to reverse global warming turns out to be a superweapon of horrendous potential. The second novel, Hurricane Fever, uses the same setting but with a different cast of characters. Here Buckell returns to his Caribbean roots, with an ex-spy spending his time sailing among the islands and dodging the hurricanes that climate change has made common, until he starts to investigate the murder of an old friend, and in the process discovers a global conspiracy.

Arctic Rising   Hurricane Fever

About the author

Paul

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