"Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money." —John Scalzi
The Incrementalists—a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories.
Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else's, has loved Celeste—and argued with her—for most of the last four hundred years. But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules—not incrementally, and not for the better. Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.
"Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure." —Roger Zelazny
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In this philosophical and inventive urban fantasy, Brust (the Vlad Taltos series) and White (In Dreams Begin) introduce the eponymous secret society, which has existed for millennia with a startlingly humble mission. The Incrementalists use their 40,000-year collective memories for meddlework identifying people at turning points in history and manipulating them to try and make the world a little better. They re responsible for the MP3 and helping to cure General Grant s drinking problem during the Civil War, as well as spectacular blunders such as Cambodia s Killing Fields. Each time an Incrementalist dies, a stub of their memories and personality is embedded in a successor chosen by the surviving members. This process goes disastrously wrong in Las Vegas in 2011, when Phil picks Renee as Celeste s successor and discovers that, for 400 years, Celeste the woman he loves has been meddleworking him. Fans of cerebral fantasy will enjoy the layered mystery, innovative concept, and fast-moving plot, though some might be put off by the haphazard, inorganic characterization, which greatly undermines a romantic subplot between Phil and Renee.