The Cityborn is a stellar 413-page novel that forces readers to think outside the box and become utterly engaged in the secrets of the dark, dystopian world Willett’s characters face, resulting in one of his most thought-provoking and captivating works yet.
Initial reviews of the novel have been extremely positive so far. The Cityborn was listed by Inverse Entertainment as one of the 7 Essential Science Fiction Books for July of 2017. In addition, Barnes & Noble named The Cityborn as one of the Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for July 2017.
RT Book Reviews:
“Willett brings J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise into the distant space age in this dystopian tale of class, power and freedom that will entertain devotees and non-genre fans alike. The worldbuilding in this book is impressive, creating an atmosphere that is both fascinating and oppressive, and characters who are magnificently complex…the ending provides a fascinating study about loyalty and power that grounds this book in our own time as much as the titular city of Willet’s imagination.”
“Willett (the Helix War series) wraps his capable new adult science fiction adventure around the fate of a mysterious many-tiered city and its inhabitants…Willett’s spunky protagonists and colorful world will entertain SF adventure fans.”
“A novel that doesn’t promise an entire trilogy? Be still our hearts….If you’re thirsting for a sci-fi read and don’t want to get tangled up in having to remember plenty of details for more than a single book, The Cityborn should appeal to you.“
The metal City towers at the center of the mountain-ringed Heartland, standing astride the deep chasm of the Canyon like a malevolent giant, ruled with an iron fist by the First Officer and his Provosts in the name of the semi-mythical Captain. Within its corroding walls lies a stratified society, where the Officers dwell in luxury on the Twelfth Tier while the poor struggle to survive on the First and Second, and outcasts scrabble and fight for whatever they can find in the Middens, the City’s rubbish heap, filling the Canyon beneath its dripping underbelly.
Alania, ward of an Officer, lives on Twelfth. Raised among the privileged class, Alania feels as though she is some sort of pampered prisoner, never permitted to explore the many levels of the City. And certainly not allowed to leave the confines of the City for any reason. She has everything a young woman could want except a loving family and personal freedom.
Danyl, raised by a scavenger, knows no home but the Middens. His day-to-day responsibility is to stay alive. His sole ambition is to escape from this subsistence existence and gain entrance to the City—so near and yet so far out of reach—in hopes of a better life.
Their two very different worlds collide when Alania, fleeing from an unexpected ambush, plunges from the heights of the City down to the Middens, and into Danyl’s life.
Almost immediately, both of them find themselves pursued by the First Officer’s Provosts, for reasons they cannot fathom—but which they must uncover if they are to survive. The secrets they unlock, as they flee the Canyon and crisscross the Heartland from the City’s farmlands to the mountains of the north and back again, will determine not only their fate, but the fate of the City…and everyone who lives there.
Edward Willett is the author of more than 50 books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for adults, young adults, and children. Marseguro (DAW Books) won the Aurora Award ( honouring the best in Canadian science fiction and fantasy) for Best Long-Form Work in English in 2009, and the second book in the Double Helix duology, Terra Insegura, was short-listed the following year. His young adult fantasy Spirit Singer (Tyche Books) won the Regina Book Award at the 2002 Saskatchewan Book Awards, and several other of his novels have been shortlisted for Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Ed’s eighth novel for DAW, The Cityborn, came out in July, and he’s currently working on Worldshaper, the first book in a new fantasy series for DAWs. Other recent titles include the Masks of Aygrima trilogy for DAW (written as E.C. Blake), Flames of Nevyana, a YA fantasy from Winnipeg’s Rebelight Books, and the five-book Shards of Excalibur YA fantasy series for Regina’s Coteau Books, of which Door into Faerie, the concluding volume, like the second book in the series, Twist of the Blade, has been short-listed for the Aurora Award for best YA novel. His non-fiction runs the gamut from science books to biographies to history: his most recent is Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan: An Illustrated History.
Born in Silver City, New Mexico, Ed moved to Saskatchewan with his parents from Texas when he was eight years old, and grew up in Weyburn, where his father taught at Western Christian College. He earned a B.A. in journalism from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and returned to Weyburn to being his career at the weekly Weyburn Review, first as a reporter/photographer (and columnist and cartoonist), and eventually as news editor. He moved to Regina in 1988 to become communications officer for the then-fledgling Saskatchewan Science Centre, and became a fulltime freelance writer in 1993.
For two decades Ed wrote a weekly science column that appeared in the Regina Leader Post and assorted other newspapers; an audio version also ran weekly on CBC Radio’s Afternoon Edition in Regina for 17 of those years. He hosted his own arts-oriented radio program on community radio in Regina for several years, and for ten years hosted a local weekly phone-in television show, focused on computers. He has also appeared on CBC TV nationally to talk about science topics. In addition to writing, Ed is a professional actor and singer (he’s a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity), who has performed in numerous plays, musicals, and operas in Saskatchewan, as well as singing with various choirs, including the nationally auditioned Canadian Chamber Choir. He continues to live in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P. Eng., a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, and their teenaged daughter, Alice.
More information about Edward can be found at: www.edwardwillett.com