A Canticle for Leibowitz meets The Hunt for Red October in Andrew Kelly Stewart’s Debut Novella

A Canticle for Leibowitz meets The Hunt for Red October in Andrew Kelly Stewart’s debut novella We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep, about a fundamentalist order of monks who control Earth’s last nuclear submarine. Learn more about the novella below, arriving Summer 2021 with Tor.com Publishing!

Remy is a Chorister, one of the chosen few rescued from the surface world and raised to sing the Hours in a choir of young boys. Remy lives with a devoted order of monks who control the Leviathan, an aging nuclear submarine that survives in the ocean’s depths. Their secret mission: to trigger the Second Coming when the time is right, ready to unleash its final, terrible weapon.

But Remy has a secret too— she’s the only girl onboard. It is because of this secret that the sub’s dying caplain gifts her with the missile’s launch key, saying that it is her duty to keep it safe. Safety, however, is not the sub’s priority, especially when the new caplain has his own ideas about the Leviathan’s mission. Remy’s own perspective is about to shift drastically when a surface-dweller is captured during a raid, and she learns the truth about the world.

At once lyrical and page-turning, We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep is a captivating debut from newcomer author Andrew Kelly Stewart.

Andrew Kelly Stewart on the inspiration for the book:

“I remember with vivid clarity the day the Branch Davidian compound was raided and burned to the ground. I was in fourth grade, standing outside during recess, watching the plume of smoke rise in the distance like a massive, dark pillar. Born and raised in Waco, Texas, the months-long siege left an indelible mark—a curiosity, but also a caution toward religion and fanaticism in any form.

It’s also worth noting that one of the first books I remember reading was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Ever since, I’ve loved all things nautical and aquatic. Additionally, being a child born in the latter days of the Cold War has greatly influenced my writing. Roll all these influences together, along with an abiding love of  Atomic Age sci-fi, particularly Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz, and a healthy trepidation of the resurgence of fascism in the Western world, and a narrative like We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep begins to make sense.

Technically, though, the real seed for this book came years ago, as I was recovering from dental surgery, high on Percocet, and the faint strains of choral song from the church across the canyon wafted in on the wind. Something clicked.”

 * * *

Andrew Kelly Stewart’s writing spans the literary, science fiction, fantasy, and the supernatural genres. His short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and ZYZZYVA. He is a Clarion Workshop alum and holds an MFA in Creative Writing. This is his first publication with Tor.com. Stewart lives and writes in southern California, and is represented by John Silbersack with the Bent Agency.


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