Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tobias Buckell's "Ragamuffin," the movie

The current feature at My Book, The Movie: Tobias Buckell's Ragamuffin.

About the book, from the author's website:

The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of forty-eight worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically “free,” mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed under interdiction, cut off from the rest of the universe.

Descended from the islanders of lost Earth, the Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers, plying the lonely spaceways around a dead wormhole. For years, the Satraps have tolerated the Raga, but no longer. Now they have embarked on a campaign of extermination, determined to wipe out the unruly humans once and for all.

But one runaway woman may complicate their plans. Combat enabled, Nashara is more machine than flesh, and she carries inside her a doomsday weapon that could reduce the entire galaxy to chaos. A hunted fugitive, she just wants to get home before she’s forced to destroy civilization — and herself.

Visit My Book, The Movie to find out who the author sees carrying his story in a possible film adaptation.

Among the early praise for Ragamuffin and its predecessor, Crystal Rain:

"Tobias S. Buckell knows what he’s doing. His first novel, Crystal Rain, was one of the best science fiction books of 2006, and its follow-up, Ragamuffin, is now on the short list for 2007.... Buckell has succeeded, though, and he demonstrates again that adventure and well-written, high-concept speculation are not as mutually exclusive as they seem to be these days. With Crystal Rain or as a standalone story, Ragamuffin is first-class science fiction."

"Set in the same far-future universe as Crystal Rain (2006), in which the ruling alien Satrapy has confined humanity to the fringes of a confederation of worlds linked by wormholes, Buckell's second SF novel provides plenty of gun play and close calls for his heroes. The Satraps now seek the all-out destruction of the Raga, descendants of an Earth island culture. A young Raga woman, Nashara, attempts to evade capture from a determined pursuer, just as the wormhole to her home, Nanagada, mysteriously reopens. Meanwhile, the aliens who control Nanagada struggle for power, Teotl against Loa, while humans play them against each other, hoping to break their iron control. As the political situation destabilizes, Nashara and her friends appear, and total war for the right of humanity to live free becomes inevitable. Buckell plays with Caribbean and Aztec cultures, bending their exotic flavor to technology-flavored ends. Though the ending is never in doubt, the twisty ride getting there is a lot of fun."
--Publishers Weekly

"Ragamuffin is fun, and with Buckell being a master of the short chapters it’s a fairly fast read. I definitely suggest those that enjoy action-stuffed science fiction with a whole lot of cool to it to pick up this book right now. Postmodern space opera has never been so good. It’s got a rich balance of characters, apt dialogue, and enough life-or-death moments to keep readers flipping pages."
--Paul Abbamondi

"The sequel to Crystal Rain (2006) shows Buckell living up to its promises as the Benevolent Satrapy continues to be anything....The resulting conflict is first-class space adventure, with tip-top characterization, action, and world-building. May Buckell enjoy a long, productive career."

“There’s a nova in the skies: Tobias S. Buckell is a dazzling new voice, and Crystal Rain is an explosive debut. Read it!”
--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award–winning author of Hominids

“Caribbean-born Buckell’s debut captures the flavor of Afro-Caribbean culture in the lilting dialogue of his characters and in their customs. [It’s] an original tale with distinctive characters and a fresh approach to world-building.”
--Library Journal
(starred review) on Crystal Rain

“Buckell’s first novel conjures a vividly imagined world, spiced with intrigue and adventure that unfolds at a breakneck pace.”
--Booklist on Crystal Rain
Read more about Ragamuffin --including an extended excerpt -- and its predecessor, Crystal Rain, at Tobias Buckell's website.

My Book, The Movie: Ragamuffin.

--Marshal Zeringue