Gabriel is one of the Aristoi, the elite class that hold dominion over a glittering interstellar culture, their rule more absolute than that of any Old Earth tyrant. When another of the Aristoi is murdered, Gabriel finds that the foundations of his civilization are tottering, and that his own power may have its roots in the greatest lie in all history.  

In order to defend himself and the interstellar order, Gabriel must go on a quest into the heart of barbarism and chaos, and discover within himself his own lost, tattered humanity. 


“In ARISTOI, [Williams] dares the reader to follow him into a realm where there are no constraints on the desires of his characters, where the wish is not only father to the deed but virtually identical with it […] like one of ARISTOI's highly complex entertainments, this book offers manifold delights.”

The New York Times

“In this complex and rewarding novel, Williams has created a future which features many of the wonders sf has been promising us for years: virtual reality, genetic engineering, faster-than-light travel, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, telepathic links with computers, and more.”

Publishers Weekly

“Williams tests the borders of imagination in a novel that combines brilliant hard science and speculative vision with a firm grip on the central humanity of his characters. A priority purchase for sf collections.”

Library Journal

“Williams follows a course to which most science-fiction writers only pay lip service: with each novel, he tries something completely different […] Williams is prolific, with nine SF novels and innumerable short stories. ARISTOI, his latest novel, is one of his successes […] a fascinating thriller.”

The Seattle Times

“A spectacular, large-scale space opera, in vivid color, with all the stops pulled out. Even better, it chooses to explore themes, not in binary black and white, but with a grayscale palette that leaves the reader wondering who is really right. The result is that rare commodity, a successful entertainment which leaves sobering questions to linger afterwards.”


Awards & Accolades


Hugo Award Nominee: “Best Novel”