Listen to Humanity’s Fire in Poland

Storytel has published Polish audiobook editions of Michael Cobley‘s critically-acclaimed Humanity’s Fire trilogy. The three novels are published as ZIARNA ZIEMI, OSIEROCONE ŚWIATY and WSCHODZĄCE GWIAZDY. Here’s the synopsis for book one…

Pierwszy inteligentny gatunek, jaki napotkał ludzkość, zaatakował bez ostrzeżenia. Bezlitosny. Nieubłagany. Niepowstrzymany. Nie mając nadziei na powstrzymanie inwazji, Ziemia chwyciła się ostatniej deski ratunku, wysyłając trzy statki kolonizacyjne – ziarna Ziemi – w różne rejony galaktyki. Rodzaj ludzki miał przetrwać… w takim czy innym miejscu. 150 lat później na planecie Darien mieści się tętniąca życiem kolonia ludzka, utrzymująca przyjazne relacje z tubylczą rozumną rasą – uczonymi Uvovo. Lecz na lesistym księżycu Dariena pogrzebane są tajemnice. Tajemnice datujące się z czasów apokaliptycznej bitwy, jaka rozegrała się między starożytnymi rasami u zarania cywilizacji galaktycznej. Choć koloniści jeszcze o tym nie wiedzą, Darien wkrótce stanie się zarzewiem międzygalaktycznej walki o władzę, której prawdziwe stawki są dla nich niepojęte. A jakich wyborów dokonają Uvovo, gdy na jaw wyjdzie ich prawdziwa natura, zaś niebo pociemnieje od statków wroga?

The three novels are published in Polish print editions by MAG.

SEEDS OF EARTH, THE ORPHANED WORLDS and THE ASCENDANT STARS are published in the UK and North America by Orbit Books, and in Germany by Heyne. The fourth novel based in the setting, the stand-alone ANCESTRAL MACHINES, is also published by Orbit (UK/US) and Heyne.

Here’s the English-language synopsis for book one…

The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth’s last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on… somewhere.

150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien’s forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilisation. Unknown to its colonists Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle, where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?

Here are some of the great reviews the series has received…

‘A well-constructed space opera with a sense of vast scope, populated with an array of beautifully differentiated intelligences both organic and artificial… this is a thick and satisfying 10-course meal of starchy pageantry, meaty characters, bitter losses, and sweet romance.’ Publishers Weekly on SEEDS OF EARTH

‘There are merciless alien invaders, lost human colonies, mysterious secrets of the ancients… all the ingredients for a gripping science-fiction adventure that combines the traditions of the field with a deft contemporary touch… What’s not to like?’ Guardian on SEEDS OF EARTH

‘The story is huge, complex and moves between its varied cast with assured purpose… a tightly plotted, action packed epic that leaves you wanting more.’ SciFi Now on SEEDS OF EARTH

Cobley writes energetic space opera, rarely dallying with sentiment and mostly assaulting the reader with exotic locations and sudden skirmishes. There are joyous moments of invention but overall there’s too much going on… Fortunately, as the saga progresses, THE ORPHANED WORLDS begins knotting some of the threads together – it still feels like an over-shaken can of fizzy diet Banks…’ — SFX

‘Fast and exciting… an excellent middle book in the trilogy, expanding on SEEDS OF EARTH and setting everything in place for a thrilling conclusion’ Waterstone’s Book Quarterly on THE ORPHANED WORLDS

‘Few writers attempt the tricky crossover from high fantasy to hard science fiction. Cobley’s first books were the Shadowkings series; with the Humanity’s Fire science fiction trilogy, he has successfully transported his dark visions to the wide-screen baroque sub-genre… Cobley combines a fast-paced plot of great scope and complexity with the convincing smaller-scale stories of the human protagonists. He’s also skilful at explicating the knotty machinations of political intrigue. Space opera has never been in more capable hands.’ Guardian on THE ORPHANED WORLDS

‘A dark vision of humanity pitched against vast forces; the plight of strong individuals caught up in titanic struggles and fighting for what they see as a just cause. THE ASCENDANT STARS is … a space opera of mind-bending depth and scope… The result is a marvellously readable examination of people under extreme stress, a convincing depiction of startlingly alien aliens, and a mature political analysis often lacking in the genre. Cobley expertly juggles multiple plot-lines and brings them to thematically satisfying conclusions while providing the landmark trilogy with a thrilling finale.’ Guardian on THE ASCENDANT STARS

‘An excellent space opera, full of imagination and invention. The human characters are mostly likeable and the inhuman ones send a shiver down the spine… There is a pleasing familiarity to much of it for those well-read in the genre and even for those who only do their Science Fiction on film and television. The writing is crisp and clear throughout and it all leads beautifully to a glorious conclusion… I highly recommend the series. Michael Cobley has added a fine piece of work to a grand tradition and I think old E.E. ‘Doc’ Smith is lying tranquil in his grave.’ SF Crowsnest on THE ASCENDANT STARS