Political Manoeuvres
Politics is the art of looking for trouble
- Groucho Marx


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Excession [S5]
by Iain M. Banks (1996)


The Culture's espionage and dirty tricks section orders Diplomat Byr Gen-Hofoen to steal the soul of a long-dead starship captain. By accepting the mission, Byr irrevocably plunges himself into a conspiracy... one that could either lead the universe into an age of peace or to the brink of annihilation. Banks offers readers a deeply imaginative, wittily satirical tale.





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Memory [S10]
by Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)


Forced to abandon his undercover role as leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries, Miles Vorkosigan persuades Emperor Gregor to appoint him Imperial Auditor so he can penetrate Barrayarís intelligence and security operations (ImpSec). Simon Illyan, head of ImpSec and Milesí former boss, is failing physically and mentally, and Miles sets out to find out why.





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The Butlerian Jihad [S1]
by Brian Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson (2002)


Centuries from now, humanity has spread across space and all-powerful machines rule the humans who were once their masters. Impatient with human beings' endless disobedience and the man-machine hybrids continual plotting to regain their power, Omnius has decided that it no longer needs them. Only victory can save the human race from extermination. Solid, not spectacular.





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Singularity Sky [S1]
by Charles Stross (2003)


The debut novel from British short story master Charles Stross adroitly matches Ken MacLeod for left-wing ideologies and Iain M. Banks for space operatic excitement. Interstellar colony, the New Republic, is techno-resistant in the extreme, except when it comes to military matters. Promising start from a topnotch writer that morphed into the Singularity series.





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The Android's Dream [S1]
by John Scalzi (2006)


A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. An unlikely hero races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement... a sheep. The quest will take him from lava-strewn battlefields to alien halls of power. Enjoyable political fun.





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Leviathan Wakes [S1]
by James S.A. Corey (2011)


When rebel sympathiser Jim Holden and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, the Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. Detective Miller is looking for a girl, and the trail leads to the Scopuli. Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations... and the odds are against them.





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Embassytown
by China Miéville (2011)


Avice Benner Cho, a human colonist, has returned to Embassytown after years of deep-space adventure. She cannot speak the native Ariekei tongue, but she is an indelible part of it, having long ago been made a living simile in their language. When distant political machinations deliver a new ambassador to Arieka, the fragile equilibrium between humans and aliens is violently upset.





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Provenance
by Ann Leckie (2017)


Though she knows her brother holds her mother's favor, Ingrid is determined to at least be considered as heir to the family name. She sets out to free a thief from a notorious prison planet to help steal back a priceless artifact. But Ingray and her charge return to her home to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict.





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Winter's Orbit
by Everina Maxwell (2021)


The Iskat Empire has long dominated the system through treaties and political alliances. Several planets have begun to chafe under their rule. When a prince dies in suspicious circumstances, his widower is rushed into an arranged marriage with the prince's disreputable cousin in a bid to keep the rising hostilities between the two worlds under control. LGBT sci-fi.


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