Into Everywhere

Paul J. McAuley
Into Everywhere Cover

Into Everywhere


The sequel to last year's 'Something Coming Through' continues the the story of humans seeking the answers to the motivations of their 'helpers', the enigmatic and inscrutable Jackaroo. The futuristic Gold rush continues, scrabbling through the mysterious leavings of the 'Elder Cultures', sometimes finding riches, and sometimes madness or death. Lurking in the background are busineswoman Ada Morange and policeman Adam Nevers who have irreconcilable differences about the wisdom of using alien technology. And then there are the !Cha, who are only interested in the story...

Lisa Dawes and her partner Willie had eke out a living on Jackaroo Gift World First Foot, prospecting for exploitable alien artifacts. At least they did until the 'Bad Trip', which left both of them shattered, and carrying an alien ghosts in their heads. Eight years later, they have gone their separate ways when Lisa's ghost wakes. Something has happened to Willie. And it is not something good. In her quest to find out what has happened to Willie, Lisa begins a quest in which she loses everything...

A century in the future, Tony Okoye captains the Abalunam's Pride, seeking the alien secrets, hidden in stromatolite fossils on a slime planet, which, if decoded, might restore his family's fortune and reputation. When a heavily armed raider enters the system through the local wormhole mirror he must flee with what little his party has recovered, hoping that it will be enough. But he is betrayed and loses everything...

This sequel can be read well enough as a standalone. There is sufficient backstory recapitulation provided to make a pre-read of 'Something Coming Through' unnecessary. I think it is a stronger book than its prequel, with tension and mystery held throughout, and with a plausible and satisfying resolution. McAuley creates a deliciously eerie atmosphere, particularly with his worldscape descriptives, be it the strip mall encumbered deserts of First Foot, or the melancholy dankness of the eternally rainy streets of Tanrog, the only city of waterworld Veles. And he has learned the lesson of the Heechee, that the chase is most often more satisfying than the unveiling.

This one is on my Hugo longlist for 2017.