cover image Falling Sky

Falling Sky

Rajan Khanna. Pyr, $17 trade paper (260p) ISBN 978-1-61614-982-6

This solid and memorable debut is set in a world where a disease has turned most people into quasi-zombies called Ferals. Those who retain their faculties eke out a living in secluded communities or in the sky, scavenging what they can from the ruins of the previous civilization. Scavenger Ben Gold, captain of the airship Cherub, occasionally transports scientists who are trying to understand and cure the Ferals. When his ship is stolen by pirates, he’ll stop at nothing to get it back. He acquires a few reluctant allies and infiltrates the flying city of Gastown, where disturbing revelations force him to make a profoundly difficult decision regarding his future. Khanna’s vision of a ruined world, populated by human monsters on the surface and desperate survivors in the air, is bleak but compelling. Ben is a flawed, selfish hero in the spirit of Han Solo, always on the lookout for number one until a greater cause catches his conscience. Though the pace drags a little, this postapocalyptic adventure is a fine start to Khanna’s career. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Oct.)