Tor.com content by

Jason Hough

Fiction and Excerpts [2]
All

Fiction and Excerpts [2]

The Darwin Elevator (Excerpt)

, || In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet's refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura. Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow "immunes," he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura's edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

Beyond the Warp Drive: Five Examples of Creative FTL

We all know traveling faster than light is impossible, yet it is perhaps the most common conceit we allow a science fiction story. Fans love to quibble over minor physics infractions despite having already given warp speed a pass. And it makes sense! Traveling at 186,000 miles a second is still pig slow when the galaxy—hell, even just our solar system—is your story’s playground. To hammer that point home, go now and have a look at this amazing video on YouTube. It’s a real-time journey through our solar system at light speed—the fastest possible speed one could ever hope to go—starting from the Sun and heading straight out from there. Come back in 45 minutes when you’ve finally passed Jupiter. Have a long think about how that uneventful, languid journey is the best we can ever hope for.

[What I really love is fiction that takes FTL to the next level…]

Series: Five Books About…

The Enticing Realism of Ramez Naam’s Nexus

This moment comes fairly early in Naam’s amazing techno-thriller Nexus, so I hope it is not too much of a spoiler.

If you’re not aware of the basic premise, a quick intro: Our heroes have developed a new variant of an illegal drug called Nexus which can turn a certain unused part of our brain cells into logic gates. And where there are logic gates, code can be installed and run. This new variant, Nexus 5, is essentially an operating system for the brain.

[The promise of the premise]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

The Darwin Elevator (Excerpt)

Check out The Darwin Elevator, Jason M Hough’s debut novel, available July 30th from Del Rey. You can also read Hough’s prequel story “Wave of Infection” right here on Tor.com!

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

[Read more]

Wave of Infection

In anticipation of Jason Hough’s upcoming novel The Darwin Elevator, out July 30th from Del Rey, Tor.com is proud to present “Wave of Infection,” a never-before-seen prequel story that introduces the novel’s protagonist and sets the stakes of the global plague.

Dispatched to Africa to combat an unknown disease, Lieutenant Skyler Luiken instead becomes an eyewitness, and sole survivor, of the outbreak of a deadly global plague. As the world falls apart, Skyler races to find his family, in the hopes that something of the life he knew can survive this devastating infection.

[Read “Wave of Infection,” by Jason Hough]