On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family take shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it.
The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.
But young John Redlantern will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family and change history. He will abandon the old ways, venture into the Dark...and discover the truth about their world.
Already remarkably acclaimed in the United Kingdom, "Dark Eden "is science fiction as literature: part parable, part powerful coming-of-age story, set in a truly original alien world of dark, sinister beauty and rendered in prose that is at once strikingly simple and stunningly inventive.
About the Author
Chris Beckett qualified as a social worker in the 1980s, and worked in the field for 18 years, first as a social worker and then as a manager, latterly as the manager of a children and families social work team. Like most social workers who qualified at that time, he started out as a generic social worker, working with a range of service users including children and families, old people, and people with mental health problems and disabilities, but his predominant area of work was always with children and families.He moved into academic social work in 2000, working first at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and then at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. In addition to his social work text books, he has published academic articles on a variety of topics including the use of military language in social work, the importance of realism as an ethical principle, and statistics from Sweden about child abuse, following the legal ban there on corporal punishment. His main research area has been decision-making in court proceedings about children, and decision-making about children more generally.Chris has a parallel career as a writer of literary science fiction, and has achieved some acclaim in this field. He won the Edge Hill Short Fiction prize for his story collection, The Turing Test, and the Arthur C. Clarke award for his novel Dark Eden. He now divides his time between his academic career and his fiction writing. More information about his fiction can be found at www.chris-beckett.com. His view is that academic and creative writing have more in common than might at first sight appear: in both cases the author begins with a jumble of ideas that seem to him to be in some way linked together, and attempts, in large part by a combination of intuition and trial and error, to impose some shape and structure.Chris has three adult children, and lives in Cambridge with his wife Maggie and sundry animals.
Winner of the 2013 Arthur C Clarke Award for the Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year
“A linguistic and imaginative tour de force.” —The Guardian (UK)
“Captivating and haunting…human plight and alien planet are both superbly evoked.” —Daily Mail (UK)
“A stunning novel and a beautiful evocation of a truly alien world.” —Sunday Times
“Dazzlingly inventive… superbly well paced and well written… packed with ideas.” —Reader’s Digest
“Pure astonishment and pleasure, a storytelling ride full of brio and wonder.” —Locus