British Fiction Focus

Ian McDonald’s New Moon

Though a far cry from the cerebral sf of the novels with which Ian MacDonald made his name, the three Infundibulum books he’s released in recent years have been bloody good fun, to a one. Stefan Raets went even farther than that in his review of Empress of the Sun—the end, evidently, of the overarching Everness narrative—saying he’d had such a good time reading about the adventures of Everett Singh and Sen Sixsmyth and so on that he felt “like writing fan-fic about its characters.”

Well… do your worst, sir! Especially now that we know the award-winning author has moved on to another project: a duology which looks “to do for the for the moon what [MacDonald] has previously (with River of Gods, Brasyl and The Dervish House) done for India, Brazil and Turkey,” which is to say “write a thrilling story of the future that is rooted in the vivid realities of its location.”

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Luna: New Moon.

The Moon wants to kill you. Whether it’s being unable to pay your per diem for your allotted food, water, and air, or you just get caught up in a fight between the Moon’s ruling corporations, the Five Dragons. You must fight for every inch you want to gain in the Moon’s near feudal society. And that is just what Adriana Corta did.

As the leader of the Moon’s newest “dragon,” Adriana has wrested control of the Moon’s Helium­3 industry from the Mackenzie Metal corporation and fought to earn her family’s new status. Now, at the twilight of her life, Adriana finds her corporation, Corta Helio, surrounded by the many enemies she made during her meteoric rise. If the Corta family is to survive, Adriana’s five children must defend their mother’s empire from her many enemies… and each other.

“A tale of corporate blood-letting and deceit on a massive scale set on a moon that, for all its lethal harshness, is described with such richness that you feel what it would be like to live (and die) there,” Luna: New Moon is slated for publication in the UK on September 17th. Mark your calendars accordingly.

In the wake of the reveal of the cover of Tor’s North American edition of the novel, Gollancz yesterday unveiled its take: a stark, sparkling slab of stars designed by the fine folks behind Blacksheep:

I don’t think it’s an accident that the presentation of the half-moon here so closely resembles the key art associated with the BBC series Planet Earth and Frozen Planet: a nice touch that I suspect speaks to the author’s realistic treatment of life on Luna. I love the detailing, too; the little moons that cast shadows on the text of the title, bringing every aspect of Blacksheep’s bold design in line.

All in all, a cracking cover. Let’s hope Luna: New Moon lives up to it.


Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative Scotsman, Strange Horizons, and Tor.com. He’s been known to tweet, twoo.

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