cover image Radiance


Catherynne M. Valente. Tor, $24.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3529-6

The long-awaited first science fiction novel—though it’s really more of a cosmic fantasy—from Tiptree winner Valente (whose last novel for adults was 2011’s Deathless) is a masterpiece of storytelling, seductive in prose and ambitious in scope. In an alternate 1944 where interplanetary travel is the norm, a film crew headed by Severin Unck journeys to Venus to investigate the Roanoke-like disappearance of the diving village Adonis. The voyage ends in disaster. Severin is the outspoken daughter of a famous Hollywood director, but she eschews her father’s fantasy tales, preferring true stories. When she doesn’t return from the ill-fated Venus shoot, speculation leads to rumor and conjecture, and the press and hoi polloi are only too happy to fan the flames of gossip. Severin’s tale is told largely through press snippets, film notes, audio transcripts, preproduction meetings, and interviews with the surviving crew. This celluloid fairy tale about one woman’s life beyond her father’s legacy and the all-seeing eye of the lens will captivate readers with all the drama and wonder that Valente’s strange and wonderful golden age Hollywood demands. Agent: Howard Morhaim, Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. (Oct.)