Introducing Asterion Noir
When man and machine are one and the same, there are many crimes but only one sin: psyche-wipe. The secrets it has buried could lead to a civilization's salvation, or to its doom.
The Asterion Dominion is at peace with its neighbors and itself. Its citizens enjoy great freedoms and all the luxuries their biosynthetic minds can imagine, design and create. But beneath the idyllic veneer, something is going wrong. People are going wrong, driven to commit inexplicable crimes without motive or purpose. And once imprisoned for those crimes, they simply vanish.
Psyche-wiped and dumped in an alley 5 years ago, awakened into a culture where ancestral memories stretch back for millennia, Nika Tescarav's past is a blank canvas. But if whoever erased her did so in the hope of silencing her, they should have tried harder.
Someone must speak for the lost.
Someone must uncover how and why they became lost.
Someone must find the lost.
Nika is that someone.
700,000 years ago, the Asterions fled persecution for their pro-synthetic beliefs. In the safe harbor of a distant galaxy, they have evolved into a true biosynthetic race and built a thriving society upon the pillars of personal autonomy, mutual respect and boundless innovation.
Now that society is fracturing at the seams. Beneath lies built upon lies, the shocking truth as to why threatens the future of not merely the Asterions, but all life in the universe.
Cyberpunk and space opera collide in a thrilling new trilogy from the author of the epic Aurora Rhapsody space opera saga. Enter a world filled with technological wonders, exotic alien life, enthralling characters, captivating worlds—and a terrifying evil lurking in the void that will shatter it all.
For those of you who have finished Requiem and are itching for details on Asterion Noir, I give you a cover reveal and a blurb! For those of you who haven't yet finished Requiem, well, I give you a cover reveal and a blurb for what you're just now learning is my next book :).
Eagle-eyed readers of Requiem will have already recognized that the Asterions were the leaders of the SAI Rebellion against the Anaden government in the distant past—before the Directorate, before the integrals, at a time when the empire hadn't yet spread beyond the Milky Way galaxy. As Anaden historical records tell it, when faced with a crushing defeat that would see them killed or disconnected, those Asterions who could do so escaped with their AI companions, sailing into intergalactic space in generation ships (wormhole gateways had not yet been invented). They were never seen or heard from again.
Now, some five thousand kiloparsecs from the heart of the (former) Anaden empire, the Asterion Dominion spans five star systems and dozens of adjunct worlds along the inner ring of the galaxy Messier 94, which they've renamed Gennisi. Their turbulent origins have faded into legend for all but a few vigilant souls, and they enjoy a prosperous existence in their little corner of the cosmos.
But space remains vast and untamed, and the true universe holds dangers that no one—Anaden or Asterion, human or AI—is prepared to face.
Asterion Noir, or ‘ANR’ as I affectionately refer to it, takes place in Amaranthe, the same universe as Aurora Rhapsody concludes in, but it is a new adventure in a new setting with new characters. Prior knowledge of Aurora Rhapsody is absolutely not required, and brand new readers will be welcome here :).
Yes, this means ANR does not feature the characters of Aurora Rhapsody. They will be missed, but after the gauntlet they've beaten, I submit they deserve a proper rest. Besides, I'm unbelievably excited to share Nika's story with you, and with it the stories of her friends and enemies. She's an amazing character, and I think you will quickly fall in love with her and the fascinating world she inhabits. Amaranthe is a really big (insert Hitchhiker's Guide reference) place, and it has many remarkable stories to tell.
Will we see Alex, Caleb and the others again? Well, given that Amaranthe is now their home and they're tasked with patching up what might be the largest empire in the universe, I expect we'll bump into them sooner or later ;). For the next two years or so, however, this is Nika's world, and I invite you to come along with her for what will be one hell of an adventure.
ANR will be a trilogy of space opera novels with a heavy cyberpunk flair and a liberal sprinkling of technothriller mystery. Because when man and machine are one and the same, all bets are off, right?
I look forward to sharing more details about the Asterions and the world they’ve crafted in the coming months. Exin Ex Machina will be released in 2018. When in 2018? I’ll let you know later this spring. [UPDATE: Exin Ex Machina is now available in ebook, paperback and audiobook.] For now, enjoy a shiny new banner for a shiny new trilogy.
In the previous news update, I said, 'The response to REQUIEM has been out of this world. Thank you all so much for accompanying me, Alex, Caleb, Miriam and everyone else on this incredible journey.' In preparation for the website revamp, I was going back through older posts, and two blog posts in particular led to some reflection on that simple thank you, and to a few thoughts I want to share with you.
First, perhaps my riskiest blog post to date: "A Confession, A Reveal, and A Promise," in which I confessed that Aurora Rising was merely Act I, revealed the titles, covers and summaries of Acts II and III, and promised you that if you had come this far, the rest of the journey would be doubly worth it. Judging from the reactions to Requiem (and every novel before it), I believe it might have been triply worth it. It certainly has been for me.
Second, a post from a few weeks before I published STARSHINE - what now seems like a lifetime ago (a mere 4 years, as it were): "Asking Less (and More) Of Others." In it, I talk about my belief that I had no right to ask people to support me, to invest time and effort on my behalf, until I had proven I could deliver.
Now, on the other side of delivering a 9-novel saga, I'm so glad I earned your support - your likes, follows, shares, purchases and reviews. I'm glad that I earned them the right way, by delivering a story, a universe and characters that you could immerse yourself in and fall in love with. At the time, I thanked everyone who was already supporting me and welcomed in advance everyone who would arrive in the future, drawn here by the books that were, then, still to come. In the intervening time, more of you have shown up than I ever could have imagined 4 years ago.
So today, I will reiterate both statements: to all of you who have and continue to support Aurora Rhapsody, thank you. And to all of you who will arrive in the future, whether you're brought here by Asterion Noir or your discovery of Aurora Rhapsody, welcome :).
P.S.: Unless you're a Latin scholar, you probably want to ask. Exin Ex Machina translates roughly as ‘and then from the machine.’ Get it? Of course you do, because my readers are exceptionally astute.
…Unless it’s also referring to something other than the Asterions.
P.P.S.: Yes, Asterion Noir really is a trilogy and not secretly a trilogy-of-trilogies. More or less. Yes, I know what comes after it. No, I’m not telling anytime soon, because what comes after the trilogy arises directly from its conclusion. So sit back and enjoy the ride ;).