Mother Of Eden
Further up the garden path
Release Date: 4 June
480 pages | Hardback/ ebook Author: Chris Beckett Publisher: Corvus Books
Chris Beckett’s 2012
novel Dark Eden superbly melded SF into a quasi- mythological style, following a group of humans marooned on the sunless planet of Eden ( and winning the Arthur C Clarke award in the process). Mother Of Eden picks up the story several generations later, as young fisherwoman Starlight Brooking seeks to see more of the planet. She meets Greenstone Johnson, son of the leader of New Earth, and agrees to leave her simple existence behind and go back there with him.
There was a fascinating ambivalence at the heart of Dark Eden regarding its ego- driven hero, John Redlantern. This ambivalence bears sinister fruit in Mother Of Eden, in an excellent progression of the wider narrative. The society John founded in New Earth has become feudal and patriarchal, with history rewritten to privilege the role of men. New Earth looks dispiritingly like Old Earth.
The book gets off to an uncertain start: even though Starlight is clearly naive and curious, her decision to go to New Earth feels rushed, her romance with Greenstone doesn’t quite convince, and the reader is several steps ahead of her when it turns out that New Earth is not all she’d hoped. But when she catches up, the novel finds its groove and suddenly it’s every bit as compelling as Dark Eden was, placing its central character over a trapdoor. Eden is building into one of the most vivid and fascinating places in modern SF. Eddie Robson Check out Chris Beckett’s “A Special Message To People Who Don’t Read SF”: http:// bit. ly/ specialmess