Well, here’s a novel rather more extraordinary than most.
An Earth some millions of years in the future after the Sun has prematurely entered its red giant stage and, as the action starts, is about to shrink to a white dwarf. Three heroes – a somewhat world weary “magician” who considers himself to be a better engineer than sorcerer, another who lives only for the moment and a new apprentice who finds everything fresh and exciting – set out to find the original machinery which moved the planet out of the red giant’s reach so it can be used to steer the world back to the inner solar system over the coming millennia.
The Earth is hardly recognizable to our era: life is confined to the old dried up sea floors, the airless continental heights are forever out of reach; certain insects have developed to large sizes and pose threats as well as giving grudging aid to the humans. Perhaps, though, the greatest threats come from the scattered communities of human beings which each believe that theirs is the only society of any worth and all others are primitive or decadent.
We visit a village where the inhabitants live their lives in the false scenes projected by a “magic” lantern and another where the laws seem to be pure whimsy. We meet a rather delightfully naive, unexplained alien; a mechanical god and a robot built from junk-yard bits – largely by itself.
A thoroughly enjoyable book with laugh-out-loud bits and thoroughly recommended to readers of science fiction through to steam punk fantasy. Hopefully, the first of many from this new author.