Sanctuary is out!

perf6.000x9.000.inddIt’s publication day! But rather than writing something about the book, I’ll just copy author Allen Steele’s own commentary on his newest novel, Sanctuary:

At long last, my new novel is being published today. Sanctuary is a full-length expansion of a series of stories that appeared on and in Asimovs Science Fiction from 2017 through 2020, revised and made longer by new material; even if you read all the stories in their original form, you haven’t received the whole story until now.

Paperback, hardcover, and ebook are now available, and I hope it will soon have an audio edition as well. This is the first time I’ve had a new novel come out from a small-press publisher, so things are a bit different this time out; the paperback and hardcover editions won’t be in any chain bookstores and probably only a few independent book shops, so your best bet is going to be ordering it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or direct from the publisher. It’s a new world, folks.

Sanctuary is about a new world, too: a small human colony on a planet orbiting Tau Ceti, established by the survivors of the disaster that destroyed the two ships that arrived there several centuries earlier. Time has passed, but memory has faded; the inhabitants have lost the historical records of the past, and therefore their memory of their origins has become clouded by myth. The island they live on, Sanctuary, is kept isolated from the rest of the world by the native Cetans, a dog-like canine race who aren’t hostile but not particularly friendly either. So the descendants of the original colonists live in a stratified society stuck in a pre-industrial way of life where science and technology has been replaced by a strong belief in magic and superstition; they’re surviving, but they’re not prospering.

The story itself is told by its central character, Jeremy Crowe, a private investigator in the sprawling urban ghetto of Landencyte, Sanctuary’s largest settlement. A member of the city’s ruling class, a Steward, hires Crowe to locate his daughter, a young woman who has disappeared just before she’s to be married to another young nobleman from another house. But what seems to be a simple missing-persons case becomes far more intriguing, with the trail leading Crowe on a mission to discover Sanctuary’s forgotten history and the reasons why his kind has fallen so far during the time they’ve lived on Tawcety.

I describe Sanctuary as a cross between hard-SF and hard boiled detective fiction. If Poul Anderson or Jack Vance had collaborated with John D. MacDonald or Mickey Spillane, this is what the result might have been. Publisher’s Weekly has favored it with a nice, respectful review: “Three-time Hugo Award winner Steele pulls off an unusual genre-bending adventure in this melange of far-future alien-human interaction and classic gumshoe investigation … Steele’s engaging tough-guy narrator and well-wrought alien culture make this an enjoyable romp for both science fiction and detective story fans.”

As always, I hope you enjoy it.

Taking Sanctuary

perf6.000x9.000.inddI may have mentioned that Fantastic Books will be publishing Allen Steele’s new novel, Sanctuary, in early November. Now we’ve got the cover finalized, and I’m prompted to show it off because Publishers Weekly has just reviewed the book. PW says “Steele pulls off an unusual genre-bending adventure in this mélange of far-future alien-human interaction and classic gumshoe investigation.… Steele’s engaging tough-guy narrator and well-wrought alien culture make this an enjoyable romp for both science fiction and detective story fans.” You can read the full review here. And when the book actually goes on sale, you’ll find links to it on this page.

Gimme Sanctuary

Fantastic Books is excited to be publishing three-time Hugo Award-winner Allen Steele’s new novel, Sanctuary, in November.

Imagine a world without plastic.

Imagine a world where something in the environment eats plastic.

Imagine arriving on such a world in a space ship.

The human colonists in Allen Steele’s Sanctuary don’t have to imagine it—they have to survive it.

After traveling light years to the Earth-like planet of Tau Ceti-e, they have only minutes to abandon ship before the native plastic-eating organism turns their space ship into a death trap of orbiting debris.

Now they’ll have to survive an 18th-century way of life with the forbearance of the not-exactly hostile—but definitely not friendly—natives.

Why do the native Cetans keep humanity confined to one poor island? Why do they so hate and mistrust the humans? What is going on?

Private eye Jeremy Crowe finds himself caught up in the underground search for the truth, stuck on a middling rung in the modern caste system, and struggling to not make humanity’s desperate situation any worse. Fighting for his life may turn out to be the easy part.

Fantastic Books will publish three-time Hugo Award-winner Allen Steele’s new novel, Sanctuary, on November 2, 2021. The book will appear in simultaneous hardcover and trade paperback formats.
Hardcover: 308 pages, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-5154-4773-3
Trade Paperback: 308 pages, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-5154-4774-0

Sanctuary—and all Fantastic Books books—are distributed via Ingram. Review copies are available upon request.