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The Quantum Magician
October 1, 2018
THE QUANTUM MAGICIAN by Derek Künsken Rebellion Publshing Solaris Books
General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 04 Oct 2018
The Oceans’ cons are children’s games when compared to the heist central to The Quantum Magician. Derek Künsken’s novel is a masterpiece of character driven fiction, a hard sci fi heist that leaves the reader breathless from its scope. The universe is one where genetic engineering has resulted in three species at once human and alien - The puppets - miniature humans designed to experience religious awe in the presence of their creators, the quantum- beings of vast intelligence capable of discarding parts of their subjective persona to expand their perception and understanding, and the mongrels - beings whose forms have been engineered to survive in harsh aquatic environments, some of the most talented and most reckless pilots.
Belisarius is a quantum who long ago fled his world. His need for mental stimulation is satisfied by complex cons. When he is approached with the task of moving 12 warships from one side of the galaxy to the other, Belisarius isn’t given the luxury of being allowed to say no. The reward is great, but the cost could be monumental. Fortunately Belisarius is far more intelligent and far more perceptive than his client expects. He pulls together a team of unforgettable people - a puppet exiled for being unable to sense his deities, an AI who believes he is the reincarnation of St Peter, an explosives expert with a dangerous sense of humor, a mongrel pilot with giant cojones, a dying conman, and the quantum woman Belisarius once left behind.
Künsken makes the universe and the situation believable. Some hard sci-fi neglects the “human” element, but not The Quantum Magician. One of the topics central to the novel is the conflict between objectivity and subjective perception. It is not only form that separates humans from the puppets, quantum and mongrels, it is perception. The Quantum Magician is an amazing novel on many different levels. It is definitely one I plan to keep on my shelf and reread in future.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Quantum Magician from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
An engineered human gifted with impossible insight.
An insight that's more curse than gift...
Balisarius is a quantum man, created to serve, made for a world that requires every moment to be monitored. He flees—his creators, his supposed place in the world, his purpose—to curve out a normal life.
Now, he is the world's most infamous con-man. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius must embrace his true nature to pull of the job.
If he succeeds, he could trigger an intersteller war...or the next step in human evolution.