The setting is a colony world, with intense volcanic activity and enormous lava pressures outside... magma flooding the underground city is a real threat, with magma-proof-doors between different sections of the city.

The plot: the book opens with the central character in some kind of coffin-sized burrowing machine, making its way through kilometres of solid rock in search of something. This job is some kind of punishment.
Later they find an old spaceship entombed in the solidified lava, and a hand-held particle weapon.

The colony world may be named "Fury"? And there is another much nicer colony world later in the book, perhaps named "Haven"?

There is a central library on Fury, which is being edited by the bad guys to obscure the true history of the colony.

Towards the end of the book we find out that a televangelist controls the lovely green world of Haven, is arranging the deletions from the Library, and arranged for his colony ship to land on Haven while all the other ships were sent to Fury. He also arranged a virus which presumably killed all humans on Earth, shortly after the colony ships departed.

The author is male, possibly English, as I remember reading another of his books which was set in England.

  • 1
    I've read this but cannot retrieve the memory. If I recall correctly the spaceship in the lava contains a body who turns out to be one of the original settlers, and isn't there a journal or something similar in the ship that contains incriminating evidence. – John Rennie May 30 at 11:07
  • Yes that's right! Well, if you ever remember, even a couple of years in the future, do pop in and give the answer. – James from NZ May 30 at 21:50
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    I think this is the same book I am looking for! scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/194742/… – Nathan Sep 14 at 2:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As per my answer to my own question, I think this is the novel "Icarus" by Roger Levy. The colony worlds are called "Haven" and "Haze" and part of the story features tunneling and also features a televangelist character.

This description from Publisher's Weekly:

Initially, this impressive novel by British SF rising star Levy will fascinate but also puzzle readers. The characters are immediately intriguing, the writing vivid and tight, but how do the sections of action fit together? What does dangerous tunneling beneath the inhospitable surface of far-off planet Haven have to do with the way brutal lords control villages on the forest world Haze? And what could these distant civilizations have to do with a near-future televangelist exploiting human weakness on Earth? However, as scene follows melancholic scene, some containing disturbing violence committed on or by children, cross references begin to show that the parts are somehow related. Even as connections are revealed, it’s never safe to relax into easy assumptions about the relationships among Levy’s believably flawed, sometimes monstrous but sometimes hopeful characters as they explore the pain of alienation and the improbable miracle of isolated people coming together.

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