Julian May's got a new universe!
Perseus Spur is the first book in The Rampart Worlds Trilogy. The other books are tentatively named Orion Arm and Sagittarius Whorl.
This is very different from JM's Pliocene and Milieu books. It is set in a universe where vast expanses of the galaxy are owned and controlled by human corporations. Two space faring aliens species, the Qastt and the Haluk, have distant & tense relations with humanity. Several Indigenous Sapient (Insap) species on multiple human controlled planets live in serfdom to humanity. Most of space is controlled by the 100 Amalgamated Concerns - mega-giant corporations.
Our story centers around Rampart Starcorps which made its fortune marketing rozkoz, a confection "better than chocolate", given to them by the Insaps of Seriphos. Rampart is controlled by Simon Frost, his children, ex-wife and several other stakeholders. The youngest son of the Frost family, Asahel Frost, refused to join the family business based on moral objections to humanity treatment of Insap species.
Instead Asa became an agent for the Interstellar Commerce Secretariat exposing corporate corruption and crusading against corporate villainy. He became a very powerful and dangerous man. Too dangerous for the Concerns to tolerate any longer. So they had him framed, disenfranchised and Thrown-away.
Stripped of his citizenship, disowned by his father and exiled to a wildcat planet, Asa transformed himself into Helmut Icicle - an underwater tours operator. Helmut had become resigned to living out his days on backwaters planets and prided himself on the home and friends he has made for himself. But then a giant toad ate Helmut's house in an attempt to kill him. Upon investigation, Helmut discovers his estranged sister has been kidnapped and Galapharma Concern is making a hostile takeover bid for Rampart Starcorps. Are all these events connected? And how is it that the Haluk seem to be involved?
Helmut, along with his smuggler friend Mimo, set off to find out...
The early chapters of Perseus Spur are very reminiscent of JM's 1950s story Dune Roller. The rest of the book reminds me of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series in its wit and fast paced adventure. It is a technically smart corporate who-done-it novel that does not disappoint.
Perseus Spur, Orion Arm and Sagittarius Whorl are all now available in paperback, see our Amazon.com Bookstore.