Acadie by Dave Hutchinson
Publisher - Tor
Price - £8.99 paperback (ebook circa £2)
The first humans still hunt their children across the stars. Dave Hutchinson brings far future science fiction on a grand scale in Acadie.
The Colony left Earth to find their utopia--a home on a new planet where their leader could fully explore the colonists’ genetic potential, unfettered by their homeworld's restrictions. They settled a new paradise, and have been evolving and adapting for centuries.
Earth has other plans.
The original humans have been tracking their descendants across the stars, bent on their annihilation. They won't stop until the new humans have been destroyed, their experimentation wiped out of the human gene pool.
Can't anybody let go of a grudge anymore?
This will be a mini review as it's a mini novella of just about 100 pages and I'm being careful as I type - it's a exquisite little SF puzzle worth your time trying to solve before the final page is read.
We are in the far future and our lead character is Duke the rather laid back but rather pragmatic President of a an unusual break-off colony of runaway genetic scientists who fled from persecution on Earth and have been in hiding. While doing so the scientists have advanced their science well into the realms of pure science fiction. The genetic code can be re-written at will; each generation beats the abilities of the last; amazing achievements in biology and space travel and a slightly anarchic existence where scientists can make themselves easily look like your favourite fantasy or SF film character (we all know geeky scientists would want to!).
Hutchinson makes the world ideal not just with it's nice level of democracy; a desire to beat the corporate overlords on earth but it's just a fascinating world to wander around in. Duke is an engaging everyman and while he isn't the smartest person in the room he is respected by the scientists for his pragmatism and ability to think outside the box. A sense of humour helps and it's impressive that in this world we have a very full cast of women in key positions within the scientiific community and prepared to disagree with Duke's assessment and Duke agrees with them when logical argument is made!
And into every paradise a snake must come and in this instance we have a small earth probe entering the system the colony now resides. Is it time to run or talk? This raises bot the tension of the story and at the end a battle for ideas that should make you revisit what you've been reading...
Can't say any more but it's smart slice of SF giving you a vibrant picture of the tomorrow and a reminder that all that glitters isn't gold. Worth your time!