Harry Illingworth of DHH Literary Agency is delighted to be representing Ada in the UK on behalf of Cameron McClure at Donald Maass Literary Agency in the US.
Too Like the Lightning is Ada’s breathtaking and inventive debut novel, pushing boundaries and playing with narrative in a way that many writers can only dream of. I can safely say that I’ve never read anything like it before, mixing Enlightenment-era philosophy with traditional science fiction speculation to bring to life the year 2454, not a perfect future, but a utopian one, threatened by cultural upheaval. Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Jo Walton says that this is ‘the kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do.’ Ada Palmer’s work is so unique that it is hard to compare it to other writers, though I believe it similar to the likes of China Mieville, Ted Chiang and Ann Leckie.
About Ada Palmer:
Ada Palmer teaches in the History Department at the University of Chicago, and did her PhD at Harvard University. She composes close harmony folk music with mythological, science fiction and fantasy themes, and performs with the a cappella group, Sassafrass. She also studies the history of manga anime, especially the "God of Manga" Osamu Tezuka, blogs for Tor.com and writes the history / philosophy blog ExUrbe.com.
Praise for Ada Palmer:
“A cornucopia of dazzling, sharp ideas set in rich, wry prose that rewards rumination with layers of delight. Provocative, erudite, inventive, resplendent.”
—Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings
“The kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do.”
-- Jo Walton, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Among Others
“Palmer proves that the boundaries of science fiction can be pushed and that history and the future can be married together.”
“Ferociously intelligent, narrated in a ravishing voice, Too Like the Lightning is the kind of science fiction I’ve been craving for years.”
– Sherwood Smith, author of Crown Duel
“In an age when science fiction tropes are cycled through every variety of mass media to the point of numbing familiarity, can an SF novel still surprise us? Yes, if that novel is Ada Palmer’s Too Like the Lightning. The writing is bold, furiously inventive, and mesmerizing. The novel’s thematic concerns place it in the great tradition of philosophically and historically savvy science fiction, but it addresses those concepts in wholly new and startling ways. It’s the best science fiction novel I’ve read in a long while, and it stands as powerful evidence that the sf genre is still a treasure box overflowing with wonders.”
– Robert Charles Wilson, Hugo Award-winning author of Spin
“Spans classical philosophy and far-future technology, weaving both together through a complex fabric of characters and intrigue. An exquisite and daring debut.”
– Fran Wilde, author of Updraft
“The world Palmer creates is extraordinarily intricate, with forces and organizations forming a delicate web of tenuous coexistence. It's a thrilling feat of speculative worldbuilding, on par with those of masters like Gene Wolfe and Neal Stephenson. […] The next book, Seven Surrenders, is due in December. That may be just enough to fully savor and digest this first installment, a novel that's one of the most maddening, majestic, ambitious novels — in any genre — in recent years.”
“Too Like the Lightning, a book more intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall. […] Palmer writes science fiction like a historian, maneuvering vast historical forces deftly, plunging effortlessly into their minutae and detail, zooming out to dizzying heights to show how they all fit together. Her acknowledgements cite Alfred Bester as an influence, and that's no surprise -- few writers can trump Bester for the sense of a world that contains within it all the other worlds of all its inhabitants. Palmer, though, may have exceeded the master. If you read a debut novel this year, make it Too Like the Lightning.”
– Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
“Worldbuilding at its richest.”
– Kirkus, starred review
“Sometimes I read a book and I know it’s going to be a huge important book and everyone’s going to be talking about it and it’s going to change the field and be a milestone for ever after. I’ve been waiting for the book to come out so I can talk to people about it the way I used to wait for Christmas when I was a kid. Read it now.”