cover image A Song for a New Day

A Song for a New Day

Sarah Pinsker. Berkley, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-984802-58-3

This excellent debut novel by Nebula winner Pinsker (after the collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea) establishes her as an astonishingly impressive writer of day-after-tomorrow SF. Band leader Luce Cannon is devoted to writing rock music and performing it live, even though threats of terrorism and disease have led Americans to retreat into solitude, connected only virtually. Rosemary Laws has grown up in impersonal, shallow isolation, but music awakens her, and she strains against the restrictions that are supposed to be keeping her safe. Luce plays clandestine concerts for tiny audiences while Rosemary, whose job is to find illegal musicians like Luce and build them into virtual reality stars, struggles to steer the monolithic StageHolo entertainment corporation toward more humane activity. Without shortcuts or heartstring-tugging tricks, Pinsker shows how people whose personalities and backgrounds seem incompatible can be united by art, and how the need to feel safe can be less important than the need to create together and share joy. She handles both intimate emotions and extrapolative worldbuilding with aplomb. This tale of hope and passion is a remarkable achievement. Agent: Kim-Mei Kirtland, Morhaim Literary. (Sept.)