It's a rather damp Friday here at Tor Towers*, so we thought we'd brighten it up with a cover reveal! Charles Stross's EMPIRE GAMES was published in trade paperback and ebook in January, and will be gracing shelves in paperback this October. Although it is set within Stross's acclaimed Merchant Princes world, Empire Games is the first book in a new trilogy. This makes for a great jumping-on point for those of you who are not (yet) familiar with his utterly absorbing world. Want to find out more? Try an entirely free extract here!
Appropriately for these times of 'fake news' and 'post-truth', Empire Games is a gripping multi-world spy-thriller - think Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - but with two warring, alternate versions of the United States.
For the hardback cover, we went for an edgy, urban look - a birds-eye view of the New York streets. We wanted to invoke 'Big Brother', looking down on the city below, as conspiracy and paranoia are key themes in this book. For the paperback cover, we wanted something a little simpler, a little starker - and to dial that feeling of paranoia up to eleven. Selecting one element of the hardback design, taken from the back cover, we think designer Neil Lang has given us just the thing. You can see more on the plot and praise for Empire Games below . . .
A time of ambition, treachery and dangerous secrets . . .
Rita Douglas is plucked from her dead-end job and trained as a reluctant US spy. All because she has the latent genetic talent to hop between alternate timelines - and infiltrate them. Her United States is waging a high-tech war, targeting assassins who can move between worlds to deliver death on a mass scale, and Rita will be their secret weapon.
Miriam Beckstein has her own mission, as a politician in an industrial revolution US. She must accelerate her world's technology before their paranoid American twin finds them. It would blow them to hell. After all, they've done it before. Each timeline also battles internal conspiracies, as a cold war threatens to turn white hot. But which world is the aggressor - and will Rita have to choose a side?
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PRAISE FOR EMPIRE GAMES
‘The keen eye and what-if imagination of Charles Stross fuel a fresh look at alternate worlds’
‘Stross's ferociously imaginative world-building is on full display here . . . few other writers can match him for humour, creativity and sheer density of ideas’
‘Mind-boggling, complex and truly brilliant’
'Watch those blistering fingers as you turn the pages, Empire Games is fast-paced, intricate and thoroughly captivating. I look forward to reading the rest of the series'
Shoreline of Infinity
*Full disclosure, as we do not condone fake news: we do not actually have a tower :(