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"Bedford builds a taut story around the dangers of a new world.... Readers who crave high adventure and tense plots will enjoy this voyage into the future." - Publishers' Weekly (Empire of Dust)
“A well-defined and intriguing tale set in the not-too-distant future…. Everything is undeniably creative and colorful, from the technology to foreign planets to the human (and humanoid) characters. Author Bedford’s world-building feels very complete and believable, with excellent descriptions bringing it all to life.” —RT Reviews
"Who doesn't love a far-future novel of evil megacorps and their telepathic agents? Nobody, that's who. In this one, there's a fun twist: the "Psi-Tech" implants drive you insane unless you stay connected to the company that put them in you. Until one agent, Cara Carlinni, figures out how to go rogue without losing her mind." - io9.com
"Cara and Ben are interesting and they're relationship isn't the standard relationship you'd expect. It starts out with lies on both sides--since they both have something to hide--and awkward sex. It has to recover from both of those before it can grow into something else, and the stress of running, hiding, and the new colony and its rather fractious settlers may not give it the chance to grow." - Joshua Palmatier, author.
"Empire of Dust, the debut novel from Jacey Bedford, published by DAW, is a fine example of a novel which has its roots in the sub-genre, but grows beyond it." - thebooksmusic.890m.com
"A neat mix between telepaths and corporate intrigue across the stars." - Buzzfeed
"Author Jacey Bedford's world building feels very complete and believable, with excellent descriptions bringing it all to life." - RT Reviews
"Bedford's vision of the future is well thought out, cohesive, and populated with a strong cast of diverse characters. Highly recommended for readers who are fascinated with psionic powers in all permutations, who enjoy stories about exploration and colonization, and those who love a good plot riddled with skewed motivations and sketchy pasts." - April Steenburgh (Goodreads)
“A well-defined and intriguing tale set in the not-too-distant future…. Everything is undeniably creative and colorful, from the technology to foreign planets to the human (and humanoid) characters. Author Bedford’s worldbuilding feels very complete and believable, with excellent descriptions bringing it all to life.” —RT Reviews
“A nostalgic space opera…. Bedford’s prose is brisk and carries the reader quite sufficiently along.” —Tor.com
“The first of a new space opera series that delivers the goods and holds lots of promise of things to come.” —SF Signal at Kirkus
"A terrific book. It’s a page-turner and it’s particularly good on characterisation and plotting, with the story playing out to a satisfying conclusion." - Chris Butler #
"The skill of this book lies in Bedford’s ability to seamlessly combine intrigue-heavy, multi-viewpoint plotting with human stories featuring characters you care about – a rare feat in this genre. The main ‘love’ triangle is handled particularly well. Note the quotation marks – this is anything but a standard romance, because we’re dealing with people who can alter memories and plant compulsions." - Jaine Fenn
Empire of Dust
A Psi-tech Novel -
By Jacey Bedford
DAW: 4th November 2014,
Mass market paperback
ISBN 13: 9780756410162,
ISBN 10: 0756410169
Read the first chapter here
For a limited time only
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Megacorporations, more powerful than any one planetary government, use their agents to race each other for resources across the galaxy. The agents, or psi-techs, are implanted with telepath technology. The psi-techs are bound to the mega-corps — that is, if they want to retain their sanity.
Cara Carlinni is an impossible thing - a runaway psi-tech. She knows Alphacorp can find its implant-augmented telepaths, anywhere, anytime, mind-to-mind. So even though it’s driving her half-crazy, she's powered down and has been surviving on tranqs and willpower. So far, so good. It’s been almost a year, and her mind is still her own.
She’s on the run from Ari van Blaiden, a powerful executive, after discovering massive corruption in Alphacorp.
Cara barely escapes his forces, yet again, on a backwater planet, and gets out just in time due to the help of straight-laced Ben Benjamin, a psi-tech Navigator for Alphacorp’s biggest company rival.
Cara and Ben struggle to survive a star-spanning manhunt, black-ops raids, and fleets of resource-hungry raiders. Betrayal follows betrayal, and friends become enemies. Suddenly the most important skill is knowing whom to trust.
Go to Book Two in the Psi-Tech Sequence: Crossways
Cara and Ben's story is set in a future in which mankind has learned to travel through the Folds via jump gates. Commerce is king. Platinum is the vital catalyst required for every jump into and out of foldspace. With each jump a small but significant amount of platinum is lost. Until the problem is fixed platinum is vital to the operation of interstellar trade. And it's rare. Super-rare. (All the platinum ever mined throughout the history on our world until 2014 amounts to less than 25 cubic feet!). So to keep the jump gates open and trade running the mega-corps are constantly searching for more and more platinum. It's a cut-throat business, sometimes literally. A platinum find can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams - as long as you can stay alive to collect on it... Read more...
LOCUS BEST SELLER LIST FOR PAPERBACKS
(Data from November 2014- the Empire's release month)
1) A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
2) Starhawk, Jack McDevitt (Ace)
3) Empire of Dust, Jacey Bedford (DAW)
4) Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (Anchor)
5) A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
6) A Dance with Dragons, George R. R. Martin (Bantam)
7) Blood of Dragons, Robin Hobb (Harper Voyager
8) Kris Longknife: Tenacious, Mike Shepherd (Ace)
9) Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (Avon)
10) A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)
Empire of Dust
Jacey Bedford. DAW,
$7.99 mass market (544p)
Bedford mixes romance and intrigue in this promising debut, which opens the Psi-Tech space opera series. Like other psi-techs, long-range telepath Cara Carlinni has a brain implant that enhances her powers. It also leaves her indentured to Alphacorp, the company that paid for the implant. On the run with data that links her ruthless former boss and lover, Ari van Blaiden, to a deadly pirate attack on a colony world, Cara convinces navigator Reska “Ben” Benjamin to add her to his team of psi-tech troubleshooters. They’ve been contracted to help the fundamentalist back-to-basics Ecolibrians establish a colony on the planet Olyanda, but it won’t be easy. Hardcore Ecolibrians hate psi-techs and punish “fraternization” brutally. Worse yet, Ben discovers mineral deposits on Olyanda that make the planet a target for pirates—just like a previous colony-building job whose failure still haunts him. Bedford builds a taut story around the dangers of a new world, the Ecolibrians’ distrust, and treachery from Ari and Ben’s home office. Readers who crave high adventure and tense plots will enjoy this voyage into the future. (Nov.)
Reviewed on 26/09/2014
Posted by Jaine Fenn on 4 November 2014
Space Opera isn’t dead; instead, delightfully, it has grown up. Empire of Dust, the debut novel from Jacey Bedford, published by DAW, is a fine example of a novel which has its roots in the sub-genre, but grows beyond it.
The premise: Cara Carlinni is a psi-tech who's running from the Alphacorp corporation who technically owns her, since it funded the Telepath technology implanted in her head. Escaping is supposed to be impossible, but she's managed to elude those hunting her and keep the secrets she's stolen from Alphacorp safe . . . and to herself. But they've finally caught up to her, and only the intervention and help of Ben Benjamin, another psi-tech, a Navigator, who takes her to a new colony that supposed to go tech-free . . . and perfect place to hide. Or so they both think.
The main premise is great, and the idea of a future in which there are no governments, only megacorporations running everything, is shockingly easy to believe. And also heartbreaking. The world--or should I say universe?--is well thought out and the characters are engaging. In particular, I liked the world in which they run to in order to hide, and the backwater waystation that they use to get there. Perhaps that's because I like the darker, grittier underside of everything, and that's exactly what the waystation is, but I also like the idea of the complete unknown, like the new planet they are helping to colonize. Cara and Ben are interesting and they're relationship isn't the standard relationship you'd expect. It starts out with lies on both sides--since they both have something to hide--and awkward sex. It has to recover from both of those before it can grow into something else, and the stress of running, hiding, and the new colony and its rather fractious settlers may not give it the chance to grow.
So, a slightly new take on the relationship makes it interesting. Also the universe in which it's set, and the characters themselves, outside of the their own tumultuous affair. The science is cool and can be played with and used in many different ways, although it does have its limits, which create their own problems. The only real issue I had with the book is that the beginning is a little rough and perhaps a touch too long. I can't see any easy way to take what's there and cut it down without adversely affecting everything that comes after, but the book doesn't really kick into high gear until the two characters reach the waystation and then the new planet. But I think if you trust me and bear with the book at the beginning, you'll really enjoy what follows.
In any case, as I said, I'm looking forward to the second book coming out later this year called Crossways. This is definitely a book that I'd suggest sci-fi lovers take a look at.