cover image Camp Zero

Camp Zero

Michelle Min Sterling. Atria, $28 (320p) ISBN 978-1-66800-756-3

Sterling’s stunning debut offers a glimpse into a climate change–ravaged future in which resources diminish quickly and new frontiers are hard to find. In desolate northern Canada, the enigmatic architect Meyer is building a settlement that promises hope for climate refugees. A group of escorts called the Blooms are flown into the build-site to be a sliver of beauty in the snowy wasteland. Among them is Rose, who hails from the Floating City, a luxurious, man-made metropolis that floats in Boston Harbor. She was secretly sent by a high-profile client to investigate the camp in exchange for an easier life for her Korean immigrant mother, but setbacks, mysteries, and a captivating man called the Barber hinder her progress with her mission. Meanwhile, Grant, who signed on to the project to extricate himself from both his wealthy family’s long shadow and a relationship that left him heartbroken, learns from the Diggers he’s been hired to teach that construction may well be futile. Nearby in a leftover Cold War station, a group of female experts in climate research grow from colleagues to friends to lovers as they unravel the cryptic mysteries of the team of men assigned to the same station before them. Sterling’s future is close enough to the present to be entirely recognizable, underlining this cleverly constructed climate fiction mystery with palpable terror: this world feels like one many readers could see within their lifetimes. This should earn a place on shelves alongside Station Eleven and Annihilation. Agent: Erin Harris, Folio Literary (Apr.)