Our protagonists find themselves in situations of betrayal, whether by a loved one’s accidental death, as in ‘Signal to Noise’, or by a trusted wartime authority, in ‘Spirey and the Queen’. His fertile imagination can resurrect Elton John on Mars in ‘Understanding Space and Time’ or make prophets of the human condition out of pool-cleaning robots in the title story. But overall, the stories in ZIMA BLUE represent a more optimistic take on humanity’s future, a view that says there may be wars, there may be catastrophes and cosmic errors, but something human will still survive.
One of two collections that appeared in 2006, Zima Blue gathered up the best of my stories that were not set in the Revelation Space universe. Later, when I had written sequels to two of the pieces, the collection was slightly expanded for its UK release in 2008.