cover image The Sol Majestic

The Sol Majestic

Ferrett Steinmetz. Tor, $16.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-16819-1

Much like the kitchen in which it’s set, Steinmetz’s culinary space opera is filled with variety. At its heart, it’s a complex, chaotic, and mystifying coming-of-age story of a young man becoming a lover, an aesthete, and an activist. When 16-year-old Kenna comes to Savor Station, a waystation deep within the stars, he’s starved both physically and spiritually. His parents are devoted to the dying religion of Inevitable Philosophies, which expects devotees to find their own guiding philosophies by age 15; Kenna hasn’t found his, and isn’t sure he will. Then he stumbles upon the Sol Majestic, a universally famous restaurant run by a small creative genius, Paulius, and his sharp-angled business partner, Scrimshaw. Paulius sees a spark in Kenna and makes a project of helping him sort himself out. As Kenna becomes accustomed to life aboard the station, he finds his purpose as part of the kitchen brigade, and soon finds ways to give back to the people who introduced him to the wonder that is food. Steinmetz (The Uploaded) elevates his story with lush details and vividly rendered characters, crafting a memorable love letter to the nourishment of body and soul as well as the dignity of work and service. Agent: Evan Gregory, Ethan Ellenberg Literary. (June)