“Poetic…Beckett renders the terror of the darkness beyond the forests with a riveting deftness that evokes all primordial fears of the unknown…There’s plenty here to intrigue and entrance.” –New York Times Book Review
“A linguistic and imaginative tour de force.” —The Guardian (UK)
“Captivating and haunting…human plight and alien planet are both superbly evoked.” —Daily Mail(UK)
“A stunning novel and a beautiful evocation of a truly alien world.” —Sunday Times
“Pure astonishment and pleasure, a storytelling ride full of brio and wonder.” —Locus
“Dazzlingly inventive… superbly well paced and well written… packed with ideas.” —Reader’s Digest
“Brilliantly imaginative…a superb entertainment, a happy combination of speculative and literary fiction. Not to be missed.” –Booklist (starred)
“A fantastic novel…Beckett has created a bizarre world of astounding imaginative vision, grounded by fundamental human conflicts.” –Shelf Awareness
“Riveting…a keenly imagined vision of the interaction between human nature and a truly alien world.” –BookPage
Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2013
A marooned outpost of humanity struggles to survive on a startlingly alien world: science fiction as it ought to be from British science fiction's great white hope.
You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of Angela and Tommy. You shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees, hunting woollybuck and harvesting tree candy. Beyond the forest lie the treeless mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among you recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross between worlds. One day, the Oldest say, they will come back for you.
You live in Eden. You are a member of the Family, one of 532 descendants of two marooned explorers. You huddle, slowly starving, beneath the light and warmth of geothermal trees, confined to one barely habitable valley of a startlingly alien, sunless world. After 163 years and six generations of incestuous inbreeding, the Family is riddled with deformity and feeblemindedness. Your culture is a infantile stew of half-remembered fact and devolved ritual that stifles innovation and punishes independent thought.
You are John Redlantern. You will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. You will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture in to the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden.