From the author of the Revelation Space series comes an interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.
A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur - and for humanity - peace is not to be.
On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.
Passengers - combatants from both sides of the war - are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.
An interstellar war has just come to an end, but some violence-loving soldiers are reluctant to stand down. Scur, separated from her unit, is captured and tortured by the sadistic Orvin. After passing out, she awakens from suspended animation to find herself on an enormous starship floating dead in space about 1,000 years in the future. Other than the hapless crew, who have also just revived, the ship is now inhabited by hundreds of former soldiers, war criminals (including Orvin), and civilians, none of whom know why they're there or where in space they are. Scur quickly takes charge, hoping to preserve order, to figure out why they're on board in the first place, and to enact vengeance on the malignant Orvin. This is an odd tale, stylized and almost gothic in its sensibilities, reminiscent of Greg Bear's Hull Zero Three in its willingness to mystify its audience and leave its shipboard mysteries unsolved. Scur is not a particularly appealing protagonist, but her growth from embittered grunt to legitimate leader is worth following. Reynolds (Poseidon's Wake) has a loyal base of hard-SF fans, and this novella, though relatively minor, should satisfy them.