Author: the Phoeron
Editor: Carmina M. Dragomir
Binding: Cloth-bound hardcover with glossy slipcover
SMRP: $25.95 USD, $28.95 CAD, $29.95 AUD, £18.95 GBP
Other Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook (coming soon)
Restrictions: This Apsis Books title may not be distributed in South America, the European Union (excluding the United Kingdom), or the Russian Federation.
Annotation: One-hundred and eleven years have passed since Sol Invictus returned enshrouded in the flesh of a man to save the remaining survivors of humanity from the darkness that followed the global purging of the Last War—so the myth goes. Humanity lives in peace, abundance, and safety as they spread throughout all the dominions of Sol under the auspices of the SPQS and the ever-present, all-powerful SOLCOM Federated Armed Forces, but for some it is not enough. Freedom, privacy, and individuality are just a few of the privileges humanity has had to sacrifice to the Great Creed of Equality, Diversity, and Stability, and there are those who fight back by whatever means are available.
One such group, known only as WE, fights with the most dangerous weapon of all: information. And when they leak and intelligence report of the highest disclosure to the public, they threaten to destabilize the entire regime. The report tells the true and devastating story of Konrad Schreiber, a young, recognized, controversial quantum programmer and physicist placed on the prestigious interstellar research mission, Operation Storm Cloud, known to the world as the Founder and Prophet of the new, State-sanctioned Placeholder Cult; and as the report makes clear, he was not what The Supreme Chair Sol Invictus would have his people believe.
To Konrad, the oppression of humanity did not matter under the banner of privilege entitled to him as an Officer of the SFAF—until he suddenly found himself on the wrong side of SOLCOM's notorious, unforgiving sense of justice. With his dreams shattered, and nothing to look forward to upon his return to the Sol System but failure, mediocrity, and a stagnant career, he gave in to the dark brooding resentment under the guise of a quest for freedom that only blood can satisfy.
When he found himself completely alone in the depths of space with nothing but the haunting memories of his murdered crewmates and an impossible, dangerous new companion to keep him company, he travelled as far out into uncharted space as his stolen ship would allow, struggling to out-run SOLCOM's pursuing executioners and his own growing insanity as only he could. But when the ship began to fail around him, and his own life drew close to its inevitable end, the only hope for redemption and escape that remained was the implausible possibility of transcending the limits of his physical body. In a fit of inspiration and desperation, he dedicated the last week of his life to a synthesis of cutting-edge physics and philosophy of being—the Placeholder Theory, a conception so fundamentally subversive that it was destined to divide the human race for the rest of measurable time.