The best recent science fiction – reviews roundup

Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds, Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft, Spring Tide by Chris Beckett, The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander, The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

Alastair Reynolds excels at world building – his impressive backlist attests to that – but he’s also a master at constructing complex technological, far-future societies peopled by fully rounded characters. In Elysium Fire (Gollancz, £14.99), the Glitter Band is a vast ring of spatial habitats orbiting the planet of Yellowstone. Each is a self-governing autonomy, where citizens vote instantly via brain implants on matters political and social. Violent crime is rare in the affluent Glitter Band, and the judiciary known as the Prefects instead investigate crimes related to voting. When brain implants cause a series of deaths across the habitats, it’s down to Inspector Dreyfus, ably assisted by sidekicks Parver and Ng, to track down the killer. Elysium Fire is a tremendously assured ...