A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the President of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam Beckstein alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world. The worst and deepest secret is now revealed: behind the horrifying plot is a faction of the US government itself, preparing for a political takeover in the aftermath of disaster. There is no safe place for Miriam and her Clan except, perhaps, in the third alternate world, New Britain--which has just had a revolution and a nuclear incident of its own.Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as "great fun," this is state of the art, cutting edge SF grown out of a fantastic premise.
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Morning, July sixteenth.
In a locked store room on the eighth—top—floor of a department store off Pennsylvania Avenue, a timer counted down towards zero.
Another timer matched its progress—in a janitor’s store on the top floor of a museum building near the Mall, behind a door jammed by cyanoacrylate glue in the lock and hinges.
And unfathomably far away, on a scaffold by the swampy banks of a slow-moving river, two men labored over a third timer, readying it for delivery to a target in the looking-glass world of the United States of
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“[These books] are, first and foremost, great fun.”--Paul Krugman, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Unraveling“If imagination is the key to success for a writer, Charles Stross has it in spades.” --The Times (London)“A good deal of fun. Fans of this series should find this conclusion satisfying and chilling.”--RT Book Reviews on Trade of Queens“Stross effectively builds tension as the clock ticks down toward a hopeless confrontation between the Clan and its superpower opponent. . . The conclusion brings events in these three universes together successfully. . . This all makes for a more than satisfactory close to [the] series.”--Strange Horizons"The world-building in this series is simply superb, in other words—it is engaging, crystal-clear and disturbingly real. . . . The Merchants' War is fast-paced and engrossing and will leave readers ravenous for the next installment.”--SciFi Weekly"These books are immense fun, a sort of 21st-century version of the solid, thought-out costume sword-and-spaceship fiction that provided the enduring spine of science fiction entertainment .”--Locus on The Hidden Family
Charles Stross is the author of the bestselling Merchant Princes series, the Laundry series, and several stand-alone novels including Glasshouse, Accelerando, and Saturn's Children. Born in Leeds, England, in 1964, Stross studied in London and Bradford, earning degrees in pharmacy and computer science. Over the next decade and a half he worked as a pharmacist, a technical writer, a software engineer, and eventually as a prolific journalist covering the IT industry. His short fiction began attracting wide attention in the late 1990s; his first novel, Singularity Sky, appeared in 2003. He has subsequently won the Hugo Award twice. He lives with his wife in Edinburgh, Scotland, in a flat that is slightly older than the state of Texas.