Synopses & Reviews
From Robert Charles Wilson, the author of the Hugo-winning Spin, comes Burning Paradise, a new tale of humans coming to grips with a universe of implacable strangeness.
Cassie Klyne, nineteen years old, lives in the United States in the year 2015—but its not our United States, and its not our 2015.
Cassies world has been at peace since the Great Armistice of 1918. There was no World War II, no Great Depression. Poverty is declining, prosperity is increasing everywhere; social instability is rare. But Cassie knows the world isnt what it seems. Her parents were part of a group who gradually discovered the awful truth: that for decades—back to the dawn of radio communications—human progress has been interfered with, made more peaceful and benign, by an extraterrestrial entity. That by interfering with our communications, this entity has tweaked history in massive and subtle ways. That humanity is, for purposes unknown, being farmed.
Cassies parents were killed for this knowledge, along with most of the other members of their group. Since then, the survivors have scattered and gone into hiding. Cassie and her younger brother Thomas now live with her aunt Nerissa, who shares these dangerous secrets. Others live nearby. For eight years they have attempted to lead unexceptional lives in order to escape detection. The tactic has worked.
Until now. Because the killers are back. And theyre not human.
"Hugo-winner Wilson (The Chronoliths) casts a cold eye at SF clichÃ©s in this powerful novel designed to shake up lazy readers. In an alternate 2014, contented citizens are celebrating a century of 'approximate peace' since the Armistice ended the war in Europe. Only members of the Correspondence Society realize that an alien entity encompassing the planet has been manipulating and pacifying humanity by controlling electronic communication and sending sims artificial products of its hive mind to kill anyone who discovers the truth. This is familiar stuff, and readers will expect to see heroic humans casting off the alien tyranny. Instead, Wilson focuses on the difficult moral choices his characters must face as they consider what has been done for (not just to) humankind, and as they discover sims among their closest companions. Heroism is set side by side with deep pain, and there are no easy answers. This is a deeply thoughtful, deliberately discomfiting book that will linger long and uneasily in the reader's mind. Agent: Shawna McCarthy, McCarthy Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Born in California, ROBERT CHARLES WILSON grew up in Canada. He is the author of many acclaimed SF novels, including Darwinia
, Blind Lake
, Julian Comstock
, and the Hugo Award-winning Spin
Scott Brick has read a number of titles in Frank Herberts bestselling Dune series, and he won the 2003 Science Fiction Audie Award for Dune: The Butlerian Jihad. Brick has narrated for many popular authors, including Michael Pollan, Joseph Finder, Tom Clancy, and Ayn Rand. He has also won over 40 AudioFile Earphones Awards and the AudioFile award for Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense 2011. In 2007, Brick was named Publishers Weeklys Narrator of the Year.