Nearly eight hundred years after a war that left Terra off limits to the rest of Sol System, humanity has devolved into a de-centralized and bureaucratic miasma.
Kep, a Guide to new arrivals to Sol, has her world turned upside down when an envoy from a nearly forgotten people returns as a diplomat from a distant system.
Now, she is caught in a race to keep corporations and guilds from obtaining an advanced foreign technology and to find a worthy power to gift it to.
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Envoy is Conrad Altmann’s first novella.
I loved how the author integrated design in all the layers of the novel - from the font to the plot and storyline. Envoy's "narrative solar system" is very complex and well-thought-out, with a long, ice-berg like kind of history underneath the main visible plot. The characters are very nicely constructed and they drive home many characteristics of different contemporary cultures. Also, all the sci-fi claims are backed-up by technical explanations (that are still easy to understand for non-technical persons like myself). All in all, I found Envoy to be a fascinating read!