Great news for fans of Ian McDonald: the Everness trilogy is available again in eBook in the US! Published via the JABberwocky eBook Program, all three novels are available once again: PLANESRUNNER, BE MY ENEMY and EMPRESS OF THE SUN. Here’s the synopsis for the first novel…
When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped from the streets of London, he leaves young Everett a mysterious app on his computer: the Infundibulum, the map of all the parallel earths, the most valuable object in the multiverse. There are dark forces in the Plenitude of Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. They’ve got power, authority, and the might of ten planets at their fingertips. He’s got wits, intelligence, and a knack for Indian cooking. To rescue his dad from Charlotte Villiers and the sinister Order, this Planesrunner’s going to need friends. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter, Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness. Can they rescue Everett’s father and get the Infundibulum to safety? The game is afoot!
The trilogy is published in the UK by Jo Fletcher Books. JABberwocky have also published a few of Ian’s other novels in eBooks for the US market (follow the link above for more information). We’ll post some more information about these novels on the site over the next couple of weeks.
Here’s just a small selection drawn from the incredible reviews the series has received since the novels’ publication…
‘Also appropriating airships, larger‑than-life characters and breakneck action is Ian McDonald’s PLANESRUNNER…, the opening volume in the Everness series and his first foray into Young Adult fiction. This is vintage McDonald, with beautifully drawn settings, complex characters and deft plotting. When Everett Singh’s scientist father is kidnapped, Everett’s investigations lead him to discover that his father was working to open portals between multiple worlds. Everett finds a map linking the worlds, which various sinister organisations desire – and the thrilling chase is on.’ — Guardian
‘The book begins with its young and likeably geeky protagonist, Everett Singh (named for physicist Hugh Everett, who came up with the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics back in the ‘50s) witnessing the kidnapping of his scientist father. But why would anyone want to drag an apparently unimportant academic off the street in London? Because, it turns out, Singh Sr has created the Infundibulum, a map of all known parallel Earths. Soon, Everett heads through a gateway and into a steampunk-tinged adventure. And yes, an airship is involved. But don’t hold that against McDonald, because this is a novel that’s knowing in the way it uses SF tropes without ever coming close to being condescending towards its intended audience. Science nerds of all ages may balk at the amount of exposition in the early chapters (arguably necessary, considering we’re talking quantum here), but most will be too busy getting lost in a cracking adventure story.’ — SFX on PLANESRUNNER
‘A pacy book filled with tropes McDonald takes from across the genre and makes his own, whether it is AI or nanotech, unpeopled Earths or post-apocalyptic worlds. The airship which is the series home has a real three dimensionality whilst the jump gun acts as pure plot device. In softer hands these books could become a “monster of the week” series but here there are consequences, none more so than when Everett is punched in the stomach by an authority figure. This basic, personal violence is a reminder that this is not a game and that even a genius can’t get through unscathed. I can’t wait to see what happens next.’ — Strange Horizons
‘McDonald proves the concept of his world of the Infundibulum has legs, and provides some intriguing new ideas amid an entertaining adventure… Lots of ideas thrown out and explored; good development of main characters… Malevolent Nanotech. More world hopping. A solidly entertaining second volume to the series… With all of these ideas, concepts and worldbuilding, McDonald, in terms of his core characters, provides us with meaty development and growth… I was more than satisfied with the book and anyone, young adult or otherwise, who has read the first book will find much to love here, and will likely be as eager as I for the next volume in the series.’ — SF Signal
‘[A]bsolutely triumphant sequel to Ian McDonald’s pulse-pounding young-adult science fiction novel PLANESRUNNER. PLANESRUNNER — a rollicking, multidimensional tale of a young boy who holds the key to infinite universes, seeking to rescue his physicist father from sinister powers — finished on a brutal cliffhanger, leaving its readers gasping and cursing for more. Now we have it. In BE MY ENEMY, there’s a lot more of what made PLANESRUNNER great — tremendous action scenes, cunning escapes, genius attacks on the ways that multidimensional travel might be weaponized, horrific glimpses of shadowy powers and sinister technologies. But BE MY ENEMY also has more of what makes McDonald’s adult fiction some of the best work I’ve ever read: a gifted ear for poesie that makes the English language sing, the unapologetic presumption of the reader’s ability to understand what’s going on without a lot of hand-holding, and a technological mysticism that never explicitly says when the literal stops and the fantasy starts… If you held off on reading PLANESRUNNER because you didn’t want to commit to a series without knowing if the author could keep up the quality, have no fear. McDonald has proven himself handily.’ — BoingBoing
‘The marvelous Everness series takes readers to a world with highly evolved dinosaurs in this third voyage through parallel universes… McDonald lets his imagination run rampant without abandoning credibility, tackling real scientific concepts such as confirmation bias, a feature lacking in far too much science fiction. Fans might wish for more focus on the original Everett, but eventually, the three storylines weave themselves together nicely, setting up another sequel with hints of forthcoming romance. Endlessly fascinating and fun.’ — Kirkus (Starred Review) on EMPRESS OF THE SUN
‘I’ve rarely had as much fun with a Young Adult SF series as I have with Ian McDonald’s Everness — now up to three books with the brand new, shiny addition of EMPRESS OF THE SUN, possibly the best book of the bunch so far… this latest installment, with its sentient space dinosaurs, will delight folks who occasionally yearn for a good old-fashioned pulp adventure… through all of it, the characters continue to shine… I confess that I initially wasn’t too crazy about the whole Doppelgänger plot, but in this novel, it turns into a wonderful part of the overall picture… It was simply a treat to get back into the crazy palari and strange fashions of the Everness books. It may sound bizarre, but this is the first time I’ve read a novel that actually made me feel like writing fan-fic about its characters, just because they’re so utterly fresh and surprising. The Everness series is technically Young Adult, but I believe any science fiction fan, young or old, would get sucked into these adventures.’ — Tor.com