After returning from a thirty-year trade mission, the crew of the Ea wake from cryonic suspension to find that their home world, Bh’Haret, is dead. ‘Screamer’ satellites have been strung around their planet warning of a plague. A scan of the surface of Bh’Haret reveals no trace of human life – only crumbling cities. Their fuel and other supplies nearly exhausted, the crew has little choice but to make planet fall on Bh’Haret, infected with a virulent and deadly disease.
In a desperate scramble to save themselves, the crew members of the Ea must each, in his or her own way, come to terms with the death of their world – and try to rekindle a belief in the possibility of life.
Fun fact: Nexus mouldered in a drawer for several years while I vainly attempted to find an agent and/or publisher. I gave up and put it on Lulu.com where it sold a handful of copies. Eventually I let it out into the wild under a Creative Commons license. A few years later, I offered it to the publishers of my short story collection (Chizine Publications) , and it turned out they liked it too! The gullible fools. So it was released in 2010, with a modified title (Nexus: Ascension vs Nexus) and 30,000 fewer words, in a limited edition, signed hardcover and as a trade paperback. A few years later it was also republished in a Science Fiction Book Club edition.
Both Nexus and Nexus: Ascension may be downloaded under a Creative Commons license by clicking on the link on the right. If you enjoyed the book (or just feel guilty about getting something for free), consider bribing me to write more:
“In [Nexus: Ascension], the writing is vivid, the characters . . . interact in a believable and thrilling way, and there is enough tension to make us suddenly start turning the pages hurriedly. . . . [Boyczuk is] a writer to watch.”
—The New York Review of Science Fiction
“Certain to outrage snowboarders and pro-lifers of allstripes. Infantovores, however, will find a powerful and articulate advocate in Robert Boyczuk.”
—Peter Watts, author of the Rifters Trilogy, Echopraxia and Blindsight.
“[Boyczuk] skillfully ratchets up the suspense…. Well-punctuated with dramatic set pieces and thrills that are often sharp and bloody, the whole thing culminates in a spectacularly messy, and thoroughly satisfying, finale. . . overall this is an ambitious novel that delivers on all its promises.”
—Alex Good, GoodReports.net
“Boyczuk’s grim first novel has. . . . page-turning thrills aplenty. Centuries-old long-haul spacefarers Sav and Liis arrive at their homeworld of Bh’Haret with two bureaucrats as cargo. The planet broadcasts nothing but plague warnings, but with vital supplies near exhaustion, the four must don space suits and brave the ravaged surface. They depend on one another for survival, but mutual distrust may prove as deadly as the plague. Boyczuk borrows from sources as diverse as Tolkien, Star Wars, and Alan Moore, and integrates the miscellany admirably into a fast-paced plot. The dystopian human dynamics, on the other hand, are the stuff of an epic nihilistic hangover.”
Epic nihlistic hangover – yup, I’ve had a few.
Check out Nexus: Ascension on Goodreads!
Trade ISBN: 9780981374680
Hardcover ISBN: 9780981374697
Science Fiction Book Club HC ISBN: 9781611298215