cover image The Light Years

The Light Years

R.W.W. Greene. Angry Robot, $14.99 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-0-85766-836-3

The toll difficult moral choices take on families is the core conflict of this clever far-future debut from Greene. In the 33rd century, wealthy Traders travel space while the poor struggle to survive planetside. Trader Adem Sadiq enters an arranged marriage with faster than light worm-drive technology expert Hisako Saski at the urging of his mother, Maneera. Hisako’s parents agree to the marriage contract that gives Hisako money in exchange for studying supposedly obsolete worm-drive technology and a two-year stay on her future husband’s starship. Life aboard the luxurious starship is intercut with flashbacks to Hisako’s early life, as she grows bitter at the realization that her newfound privilege as a Trader comes at the cost of her freedom. Meanwhile, the Saskis struggle with their choice to give up their daughter, and Maneera cooks up larger plans for Hisako than just to be a match for her son; she needs Hisako’s knowledge in order to integrate a worm-drive into the starship to make it the fastest in the galaxy. Sophisticated worldbuilding and diverse, emotionally-resonant characters make Greene an author to watch. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary (Feb.)