Saga Press, Simon & Schuster’s new science fiction and fantasy imprint, already counts among its authors Ken Liu and Genevieve Valentine. Now we can add to that list Kameron Hurley, author of the post-binary gender epic fantasy The Mirror Empire. Canadian SFF writer Aidan Moher broke the news on his blog A Dribble of Ink that Saga will publish Hurley’s The Stars Are Legion, a new standalone space opera, in 2016.
The first of two standalone books, The Stars Are Legion takes place within a star system comprised of “world-ships”—think generation ships but bigger—where two feuding matriarchs ultimately incite a war en route to discovering humanity’s new home. Saga Press Executive Editor Joe Monti (who purchased both novels) describes it as “Mad Max meets Henry V but aboard a world-sized [Weyland]-Yutani spaceship.”
Here’s the official synopsis, via press release:
The Stars are Legion is a standalone space opera for fans of Ann Leckie and China Mieville; set within a system of decaying world-ships travelling through deep space, it follows the feud between the matriarchal families of two of the world-ships, whose feud will grow into a war to wrest control of the fading hopes of the legion of worlds.
Hurley added in a few more specifics about what to expect from the plot:
You can indeed expect the best from me in this one: war, revenge, rebels, rotting spaceships…. melted half-people, casual cannibalism, flesh-eating recycler monsters, aborted worlds, frozen spacewalkers, three-headed seers, and cancerous bottom-world mechanics, and oh yes an epic war between two families fighting it out for supremacy in a dying legion of starships.
In an interview with Moher, Hurley also touches upon how space opera is the perfect mashup of science fiction and fantasy, with the frontier of space as a backdrop for familial dramas of inheritance, and the sheer scope of how she has reimagined the human race’s continuation outside of Earth. As Hurley shared in her Reddit AMA, what interests her most about war in fiction is the people involved.
Hurley is also looking forward to writing a standalone book instead of plotting out a trilogy, as is the case with her Worldbreaker series. She is currently working on the second Worldbreaker novel, Empire Ascendant.
Saga Press will release its first books in spring 2015.