Far from the Light of Heaven (Orbit, October 26, 2021). Cover design by Lauren Panepinto
Tade Thompson is a fast-rising star. Rosewater, the opening novel in his Wormwood trilogy, was “a groundbreaking future noir” (B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy blog) that won the 2019 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. The Rosewater Insurrection was nominated for the BSFA and Locus Awards, and closing novel The Rosewater Redemption was nominated for both the Locus and Philip K. Dick Award.
That’s a lot of attention so early in his career– and a whole lot of eyes on his newest project. Writers have been known to curl up under the bed for a lot less. But his follow up Far from the Light of Earth, the story of a series of mysterious deaths on an interstellar colony ship, has already been called “probably the best science fiction novel of the year… like the Tardis, larger inside than out, with a range of ideas, characters, and fascinating future settings” (The Guardian). Kirkus Reviews sums it up as “a thriller/horror-aboard-a-spaceship in the vein of Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three [and] the classic film Alien… Gripping and bloody as a beating heart.” And Tor.com says it “marries shades of gothic horror with a sleuthing mystery and hard sci-fi.”
Sounds like a must-read in my book. Looks like Thompson’s ascent to the pinnacle of SF stardom continues on schedule.
Here’s an excerpt from that Kirkus review.
Michelle “Shell” Campion, first mate on the ship Ragtime, expects to take a fairly nominal role in the journey to the planetary colony of Bloodroot; after all, the ship’s AI will handle everything. But she wakes from 10 years of cold sleep at the end of her journey to discover the AI stripped of its higher functions and 31 of the slumbering passengers murdered and dismembered by the service bots. Her mayday call is answered by Rasheed Fin, a disgraced investigator from Bloodroot, and his Artificial partner, Salvo, who wonder if Shell herself might be the guilty party. Certainly, the killer still appears to be onboard and is continuing to sabotage the ship’s systems. Aided by the investigative team and a more recently arrived duo — Lawrence Biz, a retired astronaut, old friend of Shell’s family, and governor of neighboring space station Lagos, and his half-human daughter, Joké — they must somehow find the murderous saboteur, secure the ship, and ensure the safe arrival of the surviving colonists… a genuinely exciting race against time with some mystery elements, a thriller/horror-aboard-a-spaceship in the vein of Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three, Sean Danker’s Admiral, and, of course, the classic film Alien…
Gripping and bloody as a beating heart but with a strong need for follow up.
Read the whole thing here.
Far from the Light of Heaven was published by Orbit on October 26, 2021. It is 351 pages, priced at $17.99 in trade paperback, $9.99 digital, and $27 in audio formats. Read the complete first chapter here.
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