Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pg. 69 & 99: Tobias Buckell's "Sly Mongoose"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Tobias Buckell's Sly Mongoose.

About the book, from the publisher:
Welcome to Chilo, a planet with corrosive rain, crushing pressure, and deadly heat. Fortunately, fourteen-year-old Timas lives in one of the domed cities that float 100,000 feet above the surface, circling near the edge of a monstrous perpetual storm. Above the acidic clouds the temperature and pressure are normal. But to make a living, Timas like many other young men, is lowered to the surface in an armored suit to scavenge what he can.

Timas’s life is turned upside down when a strange man crash lands on the city. The newcomer is fleeing an alien intelligence intent on invading the planet and discovering the secret hidden deep inside the perpetual storm—a secret that could lead to interplanetary war.

As the invaded cities fall silent one by one, Chilo’s citizens must race against time to stop the enemy. And Timas will find out what kind of man he has become in the harsh conditions of Chilo’s surface.
Among the praise for the novel:
"Tobias S. Buckell’s rip-roaring Caribbean-infused novels have been delicious treats so far, but after the Aztec-alien dirigible battles of CRYSTAL RAIN and the grand-scope space rebellion of RAGAMUFFIN, I initially was skeptical of SLY MONGOOSE. Could Buckell keep cranking out good books on a yearly basis? The answer is “Holy crap, yes!”"

"Anyone hankering for a book that is pure front-to-back action is likely to peg this as the space opera of 2008.”
--SF Reviews

Sly Mongoose combines weird and wonderful tech and human cultures of fantastic diversity with some of the coolest planet-building this side of Hal Clement.”
--Elizabeth Bear

"SLY MONGOOSE is, more than anything, a fast-moving action novel with lots of battles and airships and stuff like that. On the thought-provoking side, it’s got a lot to say about politics (not much of it positive) and responsibility. Perhaps even more so, and I’m starting to see this is a theme in Toby’s works, there is a lot to be noted here about poverty in a rich world and that technology can fail, particularly for poor people."
--Mark Terry

"Speaking of action Sly Mongoose has plenty of it. Buckell seems to have taken some lessons from Ragamuffin, a certain scene involving no gravity and a minigun, and pulls together some compelling set pieces starting with Pepper’s introduction, continuing through Timas’s travel on the surface of Chilo, and ending right at the titanic conflict at the novel’s climax. The three novels Buckell has written so far certainly show a strong progression of a writer with a clear eye for action (especially those “oh shit” moments) that has only grown with each book he has written. Pepper is a fun character, though a familiar archetype, and Buckell’s deft manipulation of his circumstances here add a bit of depth to his personality that is great to see and damned fun to read."
--King of the Nerds
Watch the video trailer for Sly Mongoose.

Learn more about the book and author at Tobias Buckell's website and his blog.

Tobias Buckell is a Caribbean born SF/F writer. His short fiction has appeared in magazines (such as Nature) and various anthologies. His books include Ragamuffin and Crystal Rain.

My Book, The Movie: Ragamuffin.

The Page 99 Test: Sly Mongoose.

--Marshal Zeringue