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An Unkindness of Ghosts

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A breathtaking science fiction debut from a worthy successor to Octavia Butler.

Forthcoming: 10/3/17

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“Solomon debuts with a raw distillation of slavery, feudalism, prison, and religion that kicks like rotgut moonshine . . . Stunning.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Harrowing and beautiful, this is SF at its best: showing the possible future but warning of the danger of bringing old prejudices and cruelties to that new world. While a story about enslaved people in space could be a one-note polemic, the fully rounded characters bring nuance and genuine pathos to this amazing debut.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Infused with the spirit of Octavia Butler and loaded with meaning for the present day, An Unkindness of Ghosts will appeal to a wide variety of readers. Solomon’s impassioned, speculative, literary book is sorely needed on library shelves.”
Booklist

“The HSS Matilda is a well-crafted world, and . . . the diversity of the people who inhabit it—their various sexual and gender identities, physical abilities, and psychological burdens—is refreshingly visible and vital even as they face brutal discrimination for their differences. An entertaining novel that does not neglect the vitality of its story while probing society’s assumptions.”
Kirkus Reviews

“With An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon inarguably shows themselves to be a literary child of genre leader Octavia E. Butler . . . Suffused with the past, the present, and the future of human experiences in its events, An Unkindness of Ghosts launches the career of a brilliantly gifted and important new writer in science fiction.”
Foreword Review, starred review

“In Rivers Solomon’s highly imaginative sci-fi novel An Unkindness of Ghosts, eccentric Aster was born into slavery on — and is trying to escape from — a brutally segregated spaceship that for generations has been trying to escort the last humans from a dying planet to a Promised Land. When she discovers clues about the circumstances of her mother’s death, she also comes closer to disturbing truths about the ship and its journey.”
Buzzfeed, Included in 28 Exciting New Books You Need to Read This Fall

“Slavery, racial segregation, and resistance, all set in outer space.”
Nylon, Inlcuded in Fall Bookseller Recommendations

“Incredible . . . It is what I wish every book could be: an exploration of the best and worst parts of society in a literary setting.”
Red Hen Book Shop’s Talk & Peck

“Immediately immersive and sophisticated . . . This is a phenomenal piece of work.”
—Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series

An Unkindness of Ghosts marks the debut of a wildly talented writer. Rivers Solomon has put together a heady science-fiction novel that speaks directly to some of the most pressing political and social concerns of the modern day. And yet for all that it remains deeply humane, and it’s even quite funny at times. This is a book you’ll want to read now so you can tell your friends you read it first.”
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“Welcome to the Tarlands aboard the space vessel HSS Matilda—home of the poor and rejected—and the setting of Rivers Solomon’s powerful debut novel. Imaginative in the vein of Colson Whitehead, Samuel R. Delany, and Octavia E. Butler, this novel explores the struggles of slum dwellers aboard a spacecraft sadly reminiscent of our own world: rife with poverty, caste, and discrimination as told through the Looking Glass. With outstanding world-building and an unforgettable protagonist in Aster, An Unkindness of Ghosts is a notable debut by an author whose work I look forward to reading for years to come.”
—Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood and Ghost Summer

“The HSS Matilda is a generation ship organized much like the antebellum South. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer and sowing the seeds of civil war, sharecropper Aster learns there may be a way off the ship if she’s willing to fight for it.”
Publishers Weekly


Description

Aster has little to offer folks in the way of rebuttal when they call her ogre and freak. She’s used to the names; she only wishes there was more truth to them. If she were truly a monster, she’d be powerful enough to tear down the walls around her until nothing remains of her world.

Aster lives in the lowdeck slums of the HSS Matilda, a space vessel organized much like the antebellum South. For generations, Matilda has ferried the last of humanity to a mythical Promised Land. On its way, the ship’s leaders have imposed harsh moral restrictions and deep indignities on dark-skinned sharecroppers like Aster. Embroiled in a grudge with a brutal overseer, Aster learns there may be a way to improve her lot—if she’s willing to sow the seeds of civil war.

An Unkindness of Ghosts included on The Rumpus‘s list of anticipated forthcoming releases.


Extras


Book Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Published: 10/3/17
  • IBSN: 9781617755880
  • e-IBSN: 9781617755996

Author

RIVERS SOLOMON graduated from Stanford University with a degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and holds an MFA in fiction writing from the Michener Center for Writers. Though originally from the United States, they currently live in Cambridge, England, with their family. An Unkindness of Ghosts is their debut novel.

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