cover image The Artifice of Eternity

The Artifice of Eternity

Aaron H. Arm. Cosmic Egg, $23.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-80341-202-3

Arm’s insightful debut chronicles an idealistic yet flawed attempt to colonize a distant planet. When Earth’s richest man decides the planet is doomed despite all his philanthropic endeavors, he sets his sights on building a utopian society on the planet Eden. Arm’s eloquent prose and character-driven narrative gives the story a literary feel as Eden’s colonists establish a new home amid dramatic alien flora and fauna. There’s a seemingly solid set of principles to guide the colony forward—until the shock of the new world’s first murder prompts the society’s leaders to go against their values and launch a cover-up. The ensuing decades-spanning narrative shows the consequences of this action on the Conway family: Isaac Conway preserves the hidden truth of the murder on a memory chip, which is found by his son, Jacob, after Isaac’s death. Jacob uses this information to fuel his righteous political ambitions, which take a dark turn after he discovers an ancient alien mural that predicts a cataclysmic disaster. An intriguing time paradox introduced near the end adds unexpected nuance that will leave readers thinking about this book long after the last page is turned. Add in incisive explorations of human nature, and there’s plenty of food for thought here. (July)