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"Those who've read the first book will enjoy this continuation, particularly the more in-depth exploration of its space technology, which creatively blands seemingly realistic tech with a dose of fantasy. This volume also offers deeper characterisation and loads of conventional action for an overall exhilarating and unique space opera." - RT Reviews
"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." - Joshua Palmatier, author
"This book blew me away! Well written, great character development and kick ass weird SciFi ideas and battles. One of the best books I've read this year. Love the tactics in the final battle. Great job!" - Elaine Lo
This kind of space opera is the kind I like best, which includes psionics, in this case rigidly controlled with all the downsides that means. What happens when the strictly controlled psis want independence from the choke-hold of megacorporations? Bedford works in a lot of high-octane action and high stakes as well as complicated interpersonal dynamics. And in this, as in all of the above, the book is full of interesting women—good, evil, colorful, all ages. - Sherwood Smith via Book View Cafe
A Psi-Tech Novel - Book 3
By Jacey Bedford
DAW, October 2017,
Mass Mkt Pbk
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble (USA)
Nimbus is the third Psi-Tech book, bringing the story of Cara and Ben to a close for now.
In a galaxy where the super-powers are the megacorporations, and ambitious executives play fast and loose with ethics in order to secure resources, where can good people turn for help? The megacorps control the jump gates and trade routes. They use psi-techs, implant-enhanced operatives with psionic abilities, who are bound by unbreakable contracts. Cara Carlinni once had her mind turned inside out by Alphacorp, but she escaped, and now it’s payback time.
Ben Benjamin leads the Free Company, based on the rogue space-station, Crossways. The megacorps have struck at Crossways once—and failed—so what are they planning now? Crossways can’t stand alone, and neither can the independent colonies, though maybe together they all stand a chance.
But something alien is stirring in the depths of foldspace. Something bigger than the squabbles between megacorporations and independents. Foldspace visions are supposed to be a figment of the imagination. At least, that’s what they teach in flight school. Ben Benjamin knows it’s not true. Meeting a void dragon was bad enough, but now there’s the Nimbus to contend with. Are the two connected? Why do some ships transit the Folds safely and others disappear without a trace?
Until now, humans have had a free hand in the Galaxy, settling colony after colony, but that might have to change because the Nimbus is coming.
Go to Empire of Dust and Crossways
Learn More About The Psi-Tech Universe
Cara and Ben's story is set in a future in which mankind has learned to travel through the Folds via jump gates. Megacorporations rule the space-lanes. 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. Though it's not super-rare, it's usually only found in very small quantities. (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 megacorps 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...
Excerpt from Nimbus:
Max Constant slipped inside the crowded room, nodded briefly to Ronan Wolfe and Archie Tatum. They'd got a better view than he had, but he wasn't going to miss this training session for anyone. He'd argued against being put in the rotation—argued and lost—so he wasn't going to miss the opportunity of seeing Ben Benjamin pulverised by Morton Tengue, oh no. Benjamin was good, no one would argue with that. Everyone in the Free Company had, at one time or another, experienced Ben Benjamin's training, either at first hand, or watching him in matches against other members of the company. He was good. Maybe it was his inbuilt talent as a psi-tech Navigator. It wasn't just geography, but spatial awareness.
Ben Benjamin always knew which way was up, which considering the time he spent in space where there was neither up nor down, that was pretty impressive.
But it wasn't simply Ben's skill in the training ring. Max had seen him in action. When the chips were down there was no one Max would rather have by his side—or preferably between him and danger—than Ben, but today wasn't a chips-down kind of day. Today was the chance to see Benjamin pasted to the floor by the unstoppable Morton Tengue.
Oh, yeah, this was going to be good.
Obviously a lot of other people had the same idea. The training ring—not a ring at all, but an oblong mat in the centre of the gym—was surrounded by a sea of spectators. Max spotted Ada Levenson, who'd come with exactly the same idea as himself, no doubt. Wenna was on the sidelines. Max didn't know how old Wenna was but he suspected she'd never see the low side of sixty again. She'd done tremendously well in her own session yesterday by all accounts.
Neither man wore a buddysuit. Tengue, all hard muscle, was dressed in loose trousers and singlet. Ben was similarly dressed, and though not as muscular as Tengue he was lean and fit, his mid-brown skin looking darker than usual against the white of his singlet, his hair pulled back severely in a single stubby plait.
It wasn't just the two of them, of course, this was a class of thirty or so, drawn at random, some Free Company, a few of Tengue's mercs and half a dozen of Syke's Militia.
Tengue ran the group through a series of stretches and warm up exercises, correcting some members of the group on posture and form, giving others an acknowledgment of good work with a nod or a soft-spoken word. Everyone seemed to be trying their best. Max hoped he could do as well in his own session tomorrow.
He glanced around to see if Gen had turned up to watch.
Oh-oh, he'd missed something while woolgathering. Tengue was having quiet words with one of Syke's crew. Max couldn't hear what was going on, but the man had evidently made some kind of complaint about the training routine. Bad move. Catching the instructor's attention could lead to all kinds of extra grief as Max had discovered on first joining the free Company.
The troublemaker was unremarkable except for his mouth: average height, average weight, pale skin-tone, mid-brown hair, the kind of regular face that was easy to forget. He was dressed in a beige soft-suit with loose trousers and a sleeved top tied with a belt.
They'd barely returned to their exercises when the man must have made a joke at Tengue's expense. Max winced. If he were going to pick someone to be the butt of a joke it wouldn't be Morton Tengue. The man was great at his job, but possibly needed a sense-of-humour transplant.
Tengue didn't stop the class, but Max caught a glance between Tengue and Benjamin. Ha, the poor sod's fate was sealed. Tengue wouldn't take him down personally, but Max guessed the guy would find himself up against Benjamin. Ah, well, that meant the anticipated match of Ben against Tengue wouldn't happen today, but this one might still prove interesting.
Just as Max figured, when the time came to pair off combatants Ben got the mouthy white guy. Max prepared to be entertained.
Now that it came to the crunch the guy didn't seem to have much to say. The screen high on the gym wall showed two names, Benjamin and Swanson, with zero points each. Max would never call himself an aficionado of combat matches, but he had a basic appreciation of the moves and an expectation of how the match would go. The two combatants would each show respect for the other, this was, after all, a friendly. Then there would be some sparring while each got the measure of the other, and then would come what looked to an outsider to be nothing more than a scuffle. Max didn't expect it to get beyond the scuffle stage. Benjamin would doubtless put Swanson on the mat pretty quickly. He didn't like to play with his food.
Ben nodded to his opponent, but instead of returning the nod Swanson launched himself at Ben. He'd obviously heard Ben's reputation and wasn't giving him any leeway. Ben seemed to give as good as he got. Swanson rocked back, gathered himself together and went in low and hard. It didn't look like a training match, it looked like a street-fight, and an ugly one at that. Ben jerked his head back and a spray of blood painted itself across his singlet. Swanson stepped back. Ben seemed to be about to lunge forward, but his move was, for Ben, uncoordinated. His legs had turned to rubber and he went down. There was a cheer from the coppers on the side of the mat and they pounded Swanson's shoulder as he returned to their ranks. To their ranks and through them.
Something was wrong. Ben had hit the floor and not moved. Ronan was running forward, med-kit in his hand and Swanson was not turning round to see what had happened to his opponent. He was walking through his colleagues and out behind them, heading for the door.
Max was close enough to grab Swanson's sleeve as he headed for the door. Something clattered to the floor. Swanson shrugged him off and was gone. Max looked down. On the floor was a bone knife, or rather, Max thought, an ossio one. It would have been undetectable on the security scanners. He bent and picked it up carefully with two fingertips and turned to where Ben lay, unconscious, surrounded by friends.
And if you want to know how (or if) Ben gets out of that, you'll have to read Nimbus...