Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a sci-fi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.
Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.
Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race.
But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.
A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Part historical fiction, part sweeping sci-fi epic, part gritty technological odyssey, this unclassifiable novel is like nothing we’ve read before. Set during the lead-up to the Space Race, Sylvain Neuvel’s alternate history imagines that German rocket scientists were quietly being guided along by an alien race known as the Kibsu. It appears the aliens knew something that humans didn’t: that an interstellar conflict could ultimately spell Earth’s demise and force humanity to evacuate the planet. We gobbled up every detail of Neuvel’s thought-provoking story, from the aliens’ matriarchal society to his use of real-life aerospace engineers Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolev as characters. Neuvel (who captured our attention with the heady science fiction of his Themis Files series) is a meticulous researcher, especially when it comes to the scientific details. His lengthy author’s note at the end is fascinating. A History of What Comes Next ensures that we’ll never look at the Space Age the same way again.
Two women push the space race forward in this thrilling series opener from Neuvel (The Test). Sara represents the 98th identical generation of Kibsu women, powerfully intelligent beings whose sole goal is to "take to the stars before Evil comes and kills them all." In 1932, Sara flees Germany with her daughter, Mia, and, 13 years later, Mia returns to entice aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun to come to America and join Operation Paperclip, a secret U.S. government program to recruit Nazi scientists. She succeeds, but must abandon the project when Sara learns that the latest generation of malevolent Trackers, who have hunted the Kibsu for thousands of years, are closing in. Sara and Mia immigrate to Moscow, where they live into the 1960s, bribing government officials and carefully disclosing intelligence to get the Soviets focused on building rockets of their own. Meanwhile, Mia finds love with a human woman and Sara tries to convince her it's time to create the next generation. As the Trackers close in and the Soviet Union and the U.S. scramble toward space, Sara and Mia navigate increasing dangers. The balance of wry narration, wired action, and delicate worldbuilding make for deeply gratifying reading. Fans of alternate history and intelligent sci-fi will love this.
Well that was a great read
Unique voice, tightly woven, and largely dialogue-driven with cold desperate violence for a background. Totally unexpected. Two thousand years ago to the beginning of space flight. There’s some narrative sweep for ya!