happy release day to Syne

Now available in stores near you: Syne Mitchell’s The Last Mortal Man

From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. This enthralling science fiction thriller focuses on advances in nanotechnology that have irrevocably transformed every aspect of the not-so-distant future, remaking entire cities and eradicating death and disease for those with sufficient wealth. In Elysium, a nanotech-built island fortress, Jack, the great-great grandson of nanotech trillionaire Lucius Sterling, finds himself shut out of immortality because of a deathly allergy to the nanobiology that converts mortal men to Deathless. After 10 years of quarantine, Jack escapes to one of the few places on Earth untouched by the advances: a Mennonite enclave in Montana. His peaceful life there is disrupted when Lucius calls him back to Elysium in desperation: a mysterious cloud of particles capable of destroying any nanotech person, place or thing they come in contact with—a “dissembler”—threatens to destroy the fabric of the modern world, and Jack may be the only person who can stop it. Mitchell establishes a realistic future evolved logically from our present, giving her themes—mankind’s “right” to immortality, capitalist control of scientific advancements, the slippery nature of progress—the weight of believability. Her characters are exceptionally well-drawn, and her philosophizing is skillfully balanced against the unfolding action. This book is the first in a series that should prove fascinating.

15 responses to “happy release day to Syne

  1. Wow. That sounds fascinating. I had a chance to meet Syne (and her husband… er, and then, her very pregnant self) at a college lecture/workshop/dinner thing they did for the local writing group three or four years ago. Alas, I don’t often get into sf (don’thurtmeplease), so I’ve lamented having not read any of her stuff yet.
    But this sounds like something I’m going to have to pick up. Thanks!

    • I hope you enjoy it! (even if it is SF – heh). Oh, and their son is now in his terrible two’s….

      • LoL Thanks. I couldn’t think of any way to say that that didn’t sound deeby.
        Actually, though, I get most of my sf and romance readings through recommendations, because I just don’t know them well enough to know what I like, as I do with, say, fantasy.

        • So, what do you like/not-like in terms of types of SF — I bet you could get a number of recommendations from readers hereabouts.
          Conversely, what fantasy books would you recommend as must-reads?

          • I like recommendations 😀
            SF I’ve really liked:
            Ukiah Oregon series by Wen Spencer
            Hammered by Elizabeth Bear (haven’t gotten a chance to read the rest yet).
            Crashcourse by Wilhelmina Baird (way out of print… I think it was classified as cyberpunk?)
            That’s all I can think of off hand. I’m not as much into “Star Trek” type science fiction, just more futuristic. I can’t think of a better way to explain it, which is probably why I have problems finding things in the genre.
            Romance authors really I’ve Liked:
            Jennifer Crusie
            Marjorie M Liu.
            I like Crusie’s wit and wackiness. I love Liu’s paranormals. I’m not, in general, a fan of vampire/werewolves (or other shifters), with some key exceptions.
            Fantasy I love:
            I’m an urban fantasy junkie…
            Kelley Armstong (exception to the vampire/werewolf rule)
            Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books (ditto)
            CE Murphy’s Walker Papers
            Lilith Saintcrow’s Working for the Devil
            Wen Spencer’s Tinker
            That’s all I can think of right now, sitting at my work cubicle, and not at my book cases 😀
            So, I guess “I don’t like Space Ships and I like urban fantasy concepts that aren’t werewolf, vampire or (to an extent) “fairy” driven.”

            • Another fan of Wilhelmina’s! (I was the one who found her in the slush pile… she totally blew me away, and one of my deepest regrets of my editorial career is that she didn’t get the readership she so totally deserved)
              There were three books in that universe; if you can find them, grab them. Each one was more amazing than the last. IMHO, of course.

              • I read CrashCourse many, many years ago, and didn’t find the other two books until many years after that, so when I tried to read them… it was a little bit disconnected.
                One of these days I’ll just reread the first and then reread the other two. I’m sure I still have them in the stacks somewhere… 😀

              • …speaking of you rummaging through slush piles LAG, didn’t you work with Dennis L McKiernan as well?

                • Yes, but Dennis was hardly up-from-slush!

                  • Hee hee.
                    10 mega-cool points to Laura Anne!
                    I rediscovered fantasy after 2 yrs of nuclear power school (zzzzz) on board my first sub.
                    Somehow managed to weasel my way into being ship’s librarian— ya know, in charge of that 1.5 ft by 1 ft locker space that we call “the library.”
                    And that’s where I found Mr. McKiernan’s books, nestled in the back of the locker.
                    Who’da thunk it: the stuff you write/edit may just end up under the ocean…
                    Retreiver novels at test depth!?
                    (LAG is my HERO)

  2. A starred PW review!!! Oh, that makes me so happy. Yay.

  3. That’s a great concept; sort of like a reverse “Omega Man”.
    Cool, and great cover!

  4. Jack, the great-great grandson of nanotech trillionaire Lucius Sterling, finds himself shut out of immortality because of a deathly allergy to the nanobiology that converts mortal men to Deathless
    That reminds me a bit of Marta Randall’s Islands. It’s a wonderful theme, and it can be played with and taken down a huge number of different roads. This one sounds splendid – nice to see a sure hand.

  5. Hmm, sounds promising. Excellent visual presence; design, image, even the fonts, nice and simple. Best of luck to it, and Ms. Mitchell.

  6. This looks awesome! Must add to my “to buy” list. Thanks!

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