The Race
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The Race

by Nina Allan
Release date: August 3, 2014
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

Click here to see the cover image of the Titan Books edition (2016).

Original desciption (NewCon Press, 2014):

Set in a future Great Britain scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, The Race is the first full-length novel from Nina Allan, winner of the 2014 BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction (Spin, TTA Press), and the prestigious Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire for Best Translated Work (Complications/The Silver Wind, Editions Tristram).

Christy's life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name. Together they must face their demons, wherever that may lead. Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale. What she discovers en route will change her world forever.

The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition, a narrative that lays bare the fears and joys of being human, and, ultimately, offers hope to us all.

“Totally assured – this is a literate, intelligent, gorgeously human and superbly strange SF novel that will continually skewer your assumptions.” – ALASTAIR REYNOLDS (author of Revelation Space and Blue Remembered Earth)

“The Race is a beautiful and original novel, which confirms Nina Allan as a major new force in speculative fiction. A dark dystopia in the tradition of Piercy, Russ and Robinson, and a bold indictment on corporate greed - past, present and yet to come.” – JOANNA KAVENNA (author of The Birth of Love and Inglorious)

“The Race is a strange and beautifully fractured novel: it dances between parallel realities but is always filled with a vivid sense of the real. Nina Allan dissolves boundaries between literary fiction and SF, attending to the textures of memory, desire and loss even as she seeks out dark, fantastical visions of possible worlds.” – SAM THOMPSON (author of Communion Town)

“A beautifully crafted novel in four parts, The Race explores the intertwining fates of the Hoolmans, the Pellers, and the smartdogs of Hastings. The directness of the writing cuts right to the emotional heart of the characters, but it is also the details, the sensory descriptions, which linger. Allan’s work always reveals a strong affinity with the natural world, and in this case the novel is a damning indictment of the environmental consequences of fracking on the Sussex countryside; an engagement with place at once lyrical and political. Evocative and compelling, this is an irresistible read.” – E.J. SWIFT (author of Osiris and Cataveiro)

“She’s a really fine stylist, awesomely committed to her art and with an aesthetic edge that could cut glass.” – Martin McGrath, Focus

“Every once in a while a speculative fiction reviewer finds an author who can immediately be called a quality author. Nina Allan is without a doubt a quality author who stands out as one of the most imaginative and gifted storytellers of the last decade.” – Rising Shadow

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Description of the new edition (Titan Books, 2016):

The coastal town of Sapphire is dominated by the illegal sport of smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. For Jenna, the latest Cup meet bears a significance far beyond the simple hunger for victory.

Christy’s life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, a stranger she knows only by name. Together they must face their demons, wherever that may lead.

Raised at the Croft, a secret government programme focussing on smartdogs, Maree has to undertake a journey through shipping lanes haunted by the enigmatic and dangerous Atlantic whale. What she discovers en route will change her world forever.

The story of four damaged people whose lives are inextricably linked, The Race is a novel of tender nuances, brutality, insight and great ambition, a narrative that lays bare the fears and joys of being human, and, ultimately, offers hope to us all.

(updated 2017-01-16)

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