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A Mystery in the Ruins of the Future: The Bannerless Saga by Carrie Vaughn

Friday, March 1st, 2019 | Posted by John ONeill

Bannerless-small The Wild Dead-small

Bannerless, the opening novel in Carrie Vaughn’s new science fiction saga, was based on the short story of the same name in the John Joseph Adams & Hugh Howey anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction The End Has Come (2015). It was one of the most acclaimed books of the year, and won the Philip K. Dick Award for best original science fiction paperback. The sequel, The Wild Dead, arrived in trade paperback from John Joseph Adams Books last summer.

When he selected it as one of the premier titles of July 2017, Andrew Liptak at The Verge wrote:

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her urban fantasy novels, but she’s been shifting gears quite a bit lately. Earlier this year, she published Martians Abroad, a YA space opera, and with Bannerless, she’s looking into what happens after society collapses. In this world, the Coast Road is thriving after the fall of civilization, rebuilding with a culture of households. The population is controlled as people earn the right to bear children, displaying their privilege by hanging banners outside their homes. Enid of Haven is an Investigator, who is called upon to mediate disputes in the community. When a dead body turns up, she begins to investigate, finding cracks in society that makes her question everything she’s been raised to believe. You can read the original short story here.

These are complex, ambitious books with a thoroughly original take on post-apocalyptic society. Here’s the back covers to both.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Bannerless-back-small The Wild Dead-back-small

Here’s the publishing details.

Bannerless (274 pages, $14.99 in trade paperback, $9.99 in digital format, July 7, 2017) — cover design by Mark R. Robinson
The Wild Dead (264 pages, $14.99 in trade paperback, $9.99 in digital format, July 17, 2018) — cover design by Mark R. Robinson

Both books were published by John Joseph Adams Books.

See all our recent coverage of the best series fantasy and science fiction here.

3 Comments »

  1. and in case some enjoy the digital variety, both books are part of kindle unlimited, and are very interesting reads.

    Comment by silentdante - March 3, 2019 5:56 am

  2. I’ve read both BANNERLESS and THE WILD DEAD. Carrie Vaughn does a nice job blending SF and mystery aspects in these two fine books. I hope Vaughn is busy writing a third book in this series!

    Comment by kelleyg@ecc.edu - March 3, 2019 12:00 pm

  3. Kelley — good question! I have no idea is Carrie is working on additional books or not. I will ask her.

    Comment by John ONeill - March 4, 2019 11:06 am


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