Should We Save Earth, or Abandon it for the Stars? Announcing Ruthanna Emrys’ Next Novel The Fifth Power

After the joy of watching Ruthanna Emrys turn the Cthulhu Mythos on its head with her groundbreaking, Locus and Crawford Award finalist novels Winter Tide and Deep Roots, readers have been eager to know what’s next for the author. I’m excited to provide the answer. With her next novel The Fifth Power, Ruthanna Emrys will look forward t0 the near-future, to a time when humanity’s earnest efforts to reverse climate change come into conflict with the arrival of aliens in Chesapeake Bay, who insist that the only way to survive is to leave Earth’s fragile cradle behind and join them among the stars.

The Fifth Power explores the tension between the drive to save our planet and the pull of escaping to the stars, and with her experience advocating for intelligent systems of governance that respect both human needs and ecological demands, Ruthanna Emrys is the perfect author to tell this story. The Fifth Power is expected to publish in mid-2020, and was acquired in a deal with Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Ruthanna Emrys lives in a mysterious manor house on the outskirts of Washington, DC with her wife and their large, strange family. Her stories have appeared in a number of venues, including Strange HorizonsAnalog, and She is the author of the Innsmouth Legacy series, which began with Winter Tide. She makes home-made vanilla, obsesses about game design, gives unsolicited advice, and occasionally attempts to save the world. She had this to say about the sale:

I’m excited to be working again with and with Carl, this time exploring the future instead of the past. There are so many things that excite me about this project, and it’s hard to imagine waiting until 2020 to share it. Then again, 2020 seems like it might be a good time for hopeful speculation about humanity’s ability to govern itself! Also for rogue geoengineers, parents trying to juggle their work/life/first contact balance, and snarky aliens who’ve somehow decided that Dyson spheres are a good idea. (Then again, every time is a good time for snarky aliens.)

You don’t need to wait for 2020 to see Ruthanna Emrys’ take on found families coming into contact with alien value systems. Winter Tide and Deep Roots are on shelves now.


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