cover image Seed


Rob Ziegler. Night Shade (, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-59780-323-6

The near-future United States of Ziegler’s impressive debut is dominated by Satori, a bioengineering megacorporation only nominally answerable to the weak government that distributes Satori’s genetically modified seed stock to migrants in a land ravaged by climate change. When Satori engineer Pihadassa, the seed’s developer, goes rogue, agent Sienna Doss heads out to capture her and persuade her to work for the government. Meanwhile, migrant brothers Brood and Pollo are drawn into the plans laid by both Pihadassa and Satori. Fans weary of common postapocalyptic tropes will greatly appreciate Ziegler’s imaginative world-building, vivid writing, and compelling and racially diverse cast full of unique voices. Some of the science tends toward the fantastical, but Ziegler never swamps the narrative with explanations, focusing instead on the intriguing, fast-paced adventure nuanced with precise, uncomfortably plausible details of hardscrabble life. (Nov.)