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After Atlas (A Planetfall Novel) Paperback – November 8, 2016
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A Publishers Weekly Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Book of the Year
"Newman writes with exquisite precision of grief, divided loyalties, and the struggle for self-actualization in this noir-inflected standalone...Gripping and sorrowful."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A lovely locked room mystery in which the stakes are incredibly high and the world is so very engaging....Emma Newman creates addictive page turners."—Starburst Magazine
"Newman combines the classic mystery-novel whodunit with a frighteningly possible reality of corporate-owned governments...The overall feeling of something more sinister happening keeps the pages turning until the unexpected conclusion."—Booklist
"A detective novel on acid...Newman's psychological insight is astute."—The Washington Post
Praise for Planetfall
“Cathartic and transcendent.”—The New York Times
"Exceptionally engaging...A vivid, riveting read."—The Washington Post
“Think Interstellar, think Prometheus...Beautifully written.”—Stephen Baxter, national bestselling author of The Light of Other Days
“Gripping, thoughtful science fiction in the vein of Tiptree or Crispin. Unique, timely, and enthralling.”—Seanan McGuire, author of Once Broken Faith
“A fascinating and propulsive tale.”—Locus
“Incredibly well-realized world building…Thrilling.”—io9.com
About the Author
Emma Newman is the author of Planetfall and a professional audiobook narrator, narrating short stories and novels in all genres. She also cowrites and hosts the Hugo nominated podcast, “Tea and Jeopardy.” Emma is a keen role-player, gamer and designer-dressmaker.
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The story involves Carlos who works for one of the big corporations on Earth. When he was an infant, his mother left him behind on Earth when she traveled on the Atlas. Forty years later he is a top level detective to the Ministry of Justice. There is just one catch – he was sold to them years before as an indentured slave who has to work off his debt before he is free. But everything has a price and adds to his debt. They control him and he won’t work off his debt until he is at least 80, or maybe longer . . .
So when his boss at the Ministry arrives in his apartment with a new job assignment with the details off the record, he realizes something is different. There has been another murder, only this time he knows the victim. Can he solve the crime, avoid the politics, and kept his personal feelings under control? There may be no real choice as the clock is ticking, the debt is growing, and all he wants is freedom.
Again, Emma Newman creates another fascinating main character whose personality and circumstances are a delight. The novel evolves in such a way that ye follow the unfolding investigation while slowly learning the details of Carlos’ life and his past relationships. Again the tech in the novel like the APA’s are richly drawn and central to the story. While Carlos is the main character, through him ye get to known the side characters who are all well drawn out. Some of the murder mystery clues were guessable but how she resolved the story overall was not.
In any case this was another awesome effort by Ms. Newman and I truly hope there is another story set in this world. Do pick up either one of the Planetfall books and treat yerself to a delightful story.
The detective solving the mystery brought to life A fully realized dystopian earth. The IT of the future, 3-D printing run amok as most food comes from printers; the Star Trek replicator never seemed as alien as these devices, and a scary new version of indentured servitude all fit together perfectly and provide a complete background to a great detective story.
I have just added Planetfall to my Kindle and look forward to enjoying the original story by a most accomplished author.
After Atlas is a sort of sequel to Planetfall, though set back on Earth some years after the Atlas left on its mission. It's basically a futuristic sci-fi murder mystery and a pretty damn good one with colorful characters, conspiracy theories, and bureaucratic obstructions.
Some distance into the future when governments and corporations have become one thing, people eat 3-D printed food, and most everyone is chipped in a technology driven world, Carl must solve a murder case that takes place in a retro, turn of the century hotel that caters to rich people, where doors still unlock with good ol' fashion keys, the food is real, and actual humans still do the housekeeping. That mix of old and new is a fun way to navigate through a murder mystery.
Oooooh, but there is so much more going on than meets the eye. The world has become a dire place for most people, with natural resources scarce, populations of people in extreme poverty, and the class wars as bad as they have ever been.
I won't say much more than that for fear of spoiling the fun. If you read Planetfall, this is a continuation of that story, though it's really a trip backwards to tell the story of the people still left on Earth. There will absolutely must be another book in the series, which is great. The author does a great job of remembering that despite these tales being set in the future where technology is at the center of everyone's lives, people are still people doing stupid people things, complete with all the usual human psychoses.
My only criticism is that I felt the third act really slowed for about 40 pages, and that took me out of the intensity and urgency that built for the first 200 pages. Even so, it was worth the ride.