cover image Firewalkers


Adrian Tchaikovsky. Solaris, $30 (208p) ISBN 978-1-78108-848-7

Arthur C. Clarke Award–winner Tchaikovsky (Children of Ruin) transports readers to a bleak dystopia in this powerful story of class conflict and climate crisis. In the not too distant future, the jungles of equatorial Africa have been reduced to barren desert and Earth’s ultra-wealthy flee the planet in a steady stream. The African town of Ankara Achouka exists solely to support a space elevator to the comforts of the Grand Celeste space ship. The haves pass through on their way off-planet; the have-nots are left behind in the dust to maintain the town’s machinery. When something goes wrong with Ankara Achouka’s power supply, it falls to young Firewalker Mao to fix the problem. Tchaikovsky’s lean prose is vividly evocative in its pointed simplicity as Mao and his friends make their way to the solar farms in the dangerous wastelands to the south. Crossing the desolate landscape—replete with dust storms, the carcasses of giant insects, and scientific facilities abandoned to the scorching heat—Mao and his team make a surprising discovery that could be the means to reclaim the Earth, but at an unbearable cost. Tchaikovsky sharply addresses the connection between class and climate, weaving pressing ethical questions into a thrilling adventure. This is a must-read for fans of dystopian and climate change fiction. Agent: Simon Kavanagh, Mic Cheetham Agency (U.K.). (May)