Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer
The year is 2454. Humanity has engineered a hard-won golden age, forged in the aftermath of a bitter conflict that wiped both religion and nation state from the planet. Now seven factions or ‘Hives’ co-govern the world by technological abundance, oracular statistical analysis, censorship and just a little blood.
For three centuries, the price of peace has been a few secret murders, mathematically planned to ensure that no single Hive dominates.
It is a precarious balance, but now someone is intent on pushing it beyond its tipping point.
The price of imbalance is war – a war that could destroy humanity – and no one knows this better than convict Mycroft Canner, who, as his sentence, now serves the secret leaders working to forestall war.
But this time he guards a secret – a wild card that no degree of statistical analysis could have prophesied. Canner’s wild card takes the unlikely form of a thirteen-year-old child. A child who can work miracles – turning thought into matter, into life – a child with the power to save the world, or to doom it.
The second volume of the Terra Ignota series completes Mycroft Canner’s ‘History of these Days of Transformation’ begun in Too Like the Lightning.