Scottish author Charles Stross' follow-up to his debut novel, Singularity Sky, is so much more than the sum of its parts. A cerebral, hard-core science fiction thriller in the vein of Arthur C. Clarke, with intricate plotlines that would make Agatha Christie proud -- and a witty sense of humor to rival any Paul Di Filippo story -- Iron Sunrise heralds the ascension of a brilliant literary star in the science fiction universe.
When a sun inexplicably explodes, annihilating entire planets, destroying numerous space stations, and killing millions of innocent people, the culprits must somehow be found before another entire planetary system can be obliterated. When Rachel Mansour, a UN special agent, and her husband, Martin, are put on the case, the trail of assassinated ambassadors -- all from the annihilated planetary system -- lead to a massive space cruiser traveling throughout the region. Someone on board is killing off all remaining living connections to the disaster. But who...and why?
Meanwhile, when Wednesday, a goth-obsessed refugee from one of the space stations destroyed in the holocaust, finds herself the target of a kidnapping and later discovers that someone has murdered her entire family, she must survive long enough to figure out why her world has been destroyed, her family slaughtered, and her life ruined.
Readers who enjoy their science fiction heavy on the science will thoroughly enjoy Iron Sunrise. Like the Hugo Awardnominated Singularity Sky, it's intellectual, clever, and thoroughly readable. Paul Goat Allen