The Rosewater Insurrection

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By Tade Thompson

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The Rosewater Insurrection continues the award-winning science fiction trilogy by one of science fiction's most engaging voices.

All is quiet in the city of Rosewater as it expands on the back of the gargantuan alien Wormwood. Those who know the truth of the invasion keep the secret.

The government agent Aminat, the lover of the retired sensitive Kaaro, is at the forefront of the cold, silent conflict. She must capture a woman who is the key to the survival of the human race. But Aminat is stymied by the machinations of the Mayor of Rosewater and the emergence of an old enemy of Wormwood.

Innovative and genre-bending, Tade Thompson's ambitious Afrofuturist series is perfect for fans of Jeff Vandermeer, N. K. Jemisin, and Ann Leckie.

Praise for The Wormwood Trilogy:

"Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!" —Ann Leckie, award winning-author of Ancillary Justice 

"Mesmerising. There are echoes of Neuromancer and Arrival in here, but this astonishing debut is beholden to no one." —M. R. Carey, bestselling author of The Girl with All the Gifts 

"A magnificent tour de force, skillfully written and full of original and disturbing ideas." —Adrian Tchaikovsky, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author of Children of Time 

The Wormwood Trilogy
Rosewater
The Rosewater Insurrection
The Rosewater Redempti
on
 

Excerpt

Chapter One

Rosewater: 2067

Alyssa

I am.

I write this for you, so that you can understand the futility of your position.

I have already seen the future of my endeavour, and I complete my mission at the expense of your survival. I win.

Were you to see me right now I would look like a spider, although I have many, many more limbs. Hundreds. Think of a spider with hundreds of hundreds of limbs, maybe thousands, maybe more than that. My limbs are potentially infinite in number. Each one touches a single cell. If you are alive and reading this, I am touching your cells.

At the time I am writing this I have no name. In truth, I am not alive in the sense that you are, but that will become clearer to you as we go along. Nor do I write this in the usual sense, but as on-off combinations of neuronal transmission. In the future I will take many names. Because my vision of the future tells me names help humans contain that which they do not understand, I will give you a name to call me.

Molara.

I am a harvester program, and my task is to gather. First, to gather my own cells together, and link them. I know, I know, if I have cells, I must be alive. No. My cells were built by intelligent entities unknown to you. When I have gathered enough cells to myself, I will, like a spider, build my web. I do it while I wait. What I’m waiting for is truly alive, alive in your sense, but may never arrive. I must wait until I die.

I cannot die for a long time. It would take millions of your years. The probability is that you will die before I do. Unlike you, I am built well.

I start from a few cells, lone survivors of the scattering. Two cells stick together, one dominant, one passive, one designated head and the other, leg. The leg stretches out like a filament, finds more, joins them to the head. When I reach the critical mass of five billion cells, I become self-aware.

I think; I am.

I begin to write this for you.

You are not here yet. The atmosphere is full of sulphur and while some things, some alive things, churn under the vast waters, my cells don’t work well in that medium. I still try, but there is no significant intelligence to connect with.

I wait.

Time passes, another impregnated meteor arrives with more cells, but not enough. What you call the Cambrian Explosion keeps me busy. You crawl out of the sea and on to land. I test, but you are not ready. When a rock burns through the atmosphere and kills the giants, I am wounded, but I am resilient. I grow back, I test the furry little animals that dominate the macro-biosphere afterwards. They are not ready. They walk on four, then two limbs. They brachiate and form communities in trees and on land. They use tools. Getting closer, now. The use of tools changes things, and the specialised folds of the brain push nature into greater and greater complexity. The hand, the thumb, forces itself into opposition against the palm. Humans of a sort are born. I begin.

Connect to the nerve endings on the skin, use them to access the central nervous system, extract information, collate, transmit home in the upper atmosphere. I do this while Homo sapiens acquire language. On instructions from Home, my creators tell me to begin replacing human cells with our manufactured cells. This is not without complication. A certain percentage of you acquire the ability to access the information network, to see what I can see, into thoughts and sometimes into the future. You call them sensitives. This will not do, so I kill the one per cent who develop this ability, again, slowly so as not to be noticed.

Do not think this is the first time.

Organisms have swallowed other organisms in the history of your planet. Your existence is evidence of that. You are only here because one bacterium swallowed another. What you call a “human” is a walking culture medium for bacteria. There are more bacteria cells than human in the body.

So don’t resist, don’t panic. There will be no pain, and we will ease you into it. You squander your humanity anyway, spreading your seed carelessly, scattershot DNA projection, waste. You will be the same, essentially. You will look the same, and who knows? You may even retain some awareness. You just won’t be in the driver’s seat.

Become me.

Then, become us.

Alyssa.

Alyssa wakes up knowing her name, but not much else. As soon as she opens her eyes her heart skips and runs fast, her breath coming in short, rapid bursts. She sits up in full panic. There is a dream fading from her memory, wispy images that tease, sounds and concepts on which she can find no purchase, words full of meaning, now lost.

She clasps the rumpled bedclothes to herself, and she squeals as they pull back. There is a man on the bed, facing away from her, in pyjama bottoms. She backs away until she slides off her side of the bed and lands on the carpeted floor. Nothing is familiar.

She is in a bedroom, single window just above the bed with dawn filtering through the curtains, reading chair in the far corner, opposite the door, bedside tables on both sides with reading lamps and a pile of paperbacks on her side, a magazine on his, framed photos on each wall, en suite bathroom with door ajar, a set of built-in wardrobes opposite the window, one door open with a gown hanging off it. There is a blue sock on the carpet along with mismatched slippers. The room is not neat, but not messy. It is lived in, occupied, but not familiar and Alyssa presses herself into the space beside the bed, into the wall.

Where am I?

The man breathes and snorts from time to time. The blanket rises and falls as if it too is alive. The man’s back is downy with blond hair. Alyssa knows her memory is not gone because she knows the word “memory.”

“Memory,” she says, just to hear the word, yet even her own voice is unfamiliar.

She feels the hardness and coolness of the wall against her back, the fibres of the carpet, the human smell of the room, which is the remnants of perfume, cologne, sneaky farts, the body fluids of sex and the staleness of shoes. She knows what these things are. She looks at her arms and legs. Wedding ring, engagement ring. No cuts or bruises. No rope burns. Nails need doing. She hikes her night gown, examines her belly, chest. No problems she can see. She does not feel woozy as if she were drunk. In fact, her head feels remarkably clear, except for the fact that she only knows her own name.

She stands and edges around the bed, on tiptoe, eyes glued to the sleeping figure on the bed. He does not wake. His face comes into view as she moves. It is not unpleasant, and she waits for something in her to jump in recognition and for everything to be all right, but nothing does and nothing is. She spies the wedding ring on his left hand. Is this her husband? She looks at the framed photos.

The one closest to the window is of her and the sleeping man. She sees her own face reflected in the glass, and this superimposed on the photograph. Her face is not familiar, but the reflection and the woman in the photograph are the same. Both Alyssa and the man are laughing in the photo. He has his profile to the camera and his mouth is in her hair, which is plentiful. She runs a hand over her scalp and finds shorter hair. They are outside somewhere, it is sunny, and in the background there are snow-tipped mountains. She has no memory of this.

The second is even more alarming. There is a—“Mum!”— child.

This is, somehow, the most frightening part of the situation for Alyssa. She hears thumps outside, feet coming towards the door. A child, entitled, cocksure that its needs will be met by parents, except Alyssa doesn’t even know the child’s name or how much it weighed or even the sex. She does not feel like a mother. She rubs her temples, trying to kick-start her brain.

What is this?

She rushes into the bathroom and closes the door just as she hears the child burst into the room.

“Mum!”

It is definitely a girl. Ten? Eleven? A teenager?

“I’m not feeling well,” Alyssa says.

In desperation she runs the tap and splashes cold water on her face. She stares at the mirror. Glowing numerals show the temperature of her skin, the room and the hot water in the tap, as well as the humidity. The reflection is clearly her own face and body, but Alyssa is only able to acknowledge this as a fact. There is no real recognition.

“But you have to take me to Nicole’s place. I’ll be late.”

“Alyssa.” A male voice, croaky, from the man on the bed, her husband.

“I’m not feeling well,” says Alyssa again.

“But—” says the child.

“I’ll take you, Pat,” says the man. “Go put the kettle on.”

Alyssa holds her breath and hears the child, Pat, thunder downstairs. The bedclothes rustle and he comes to the door.

“Alyssa?”

“I’m not feeling well.” They seem to be the only words she knows.

“Yes, you said that. Can I come in?”

“No!”

“All right, all right. I’ll take Pat to the birthday party. You want me to get anything from the shops?”

“No.”

“You’re full of words today, aren’t you?” He yawns and the sounds indicate he wanders off.

Pat. Pat. My daughter is Pat. Patricia? Patience? Maybe the girl is his daughter and not hers. She hears laughter from downstairs, a sound of infinite normality that crushes her heart.

Alyssa smacks herself on the side of the head, and her reflection does the same. Has she had a stroke? Is she ill? She opens the medicine cabinet. Painkillers, tampons, vitamins, oral contraceptives made out to Alyssa Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe.

“Sutcliffe,” she says. “Alyssa Sutcliffe.” It does not ring a bell.

One asthma inhaler, a tube of rheumatism gel, an antifungal cream, but nothing else that might suggest long-term illness. How can she remember what all this shit is for, but not her own name, family or life memories? She sweeps all the top row of pills to the floor and sits on the lid of the toilet. She hears a distant door slam and the start of an engine. The house descends into silence.

Alyssa looks out of the window. There is morning sun and a driveway. A maroon car recedes down the street, which is lined with palm trees. The houses are nigh-identical two-storey family homes. Why does Pat have a birthday party first thing in the morning?

She rummages, searches drawers, under the bed, a lockable box which is unlocked. Her left wrist vibrates gently. She is not alarmed by this because she knows it is a phone, knows that it is not a true vibration, but an electrical stimulation of vibration receptors, and that it means she has an email or text. How does she remember all this, but still not recall any of the basics? The text glows from the flexible hypoallergenic polymer under her forearm skin.

Get some rest. I’ll be home soon. X.

He could have signed his actual name, thinks Alyssa. The contacts list identifies him as Mista Lover-Lover.

She explores the house. She goes through her daughter’s bedroom, sees the poster on the wall for Ryot, a girl band who apparently go topless in some concerts, not showing the nipple, but just the curve of their breasts. The poster starts playing once the sensors pick up Alyssa’s RFID chip, and the music is a kind of neo-punk. Alyssa remembers what punk is.

“Stop,” she says, and the poster freezes back to the original position.

In the living room the news starts playing when she enters the room, a holofield above the centre table. Internecine warfare among desalination flotillas off the shores of Lagos coming to an end. A brief clip of an interview with Rosewater’s first superstar writer, Walter Tanmola. Is this an interview or a roast? You may say the author is dead, but then I ask you, why am I here? Why even ask me about my work in the first place? Descent of the jet stream due to global warming raises the possibility of regular snow storms in sub-Saharan regions. New insect COBs to be rolled out in the next few weeks. Nollywood star Crisp Okoye shoots himself in the head in an attempted suicide. All too familiar but alien at the same time.

Her forearm informs her of the temperature and the probability of rain later in the day. It tells her the time is oh-nine-fifty-nine hours, and scrolls through a number of breakfast options based on the available food in the house. Her skin glows with the date and the number of waiting messages.

The announcer reminds viewers that there will be a documentary on Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, focusing on conspiracies around his death. Hannah Jacques, wife of the mayor, pleads for reanimates to be treated with dignity in a sponsored message.

Alyssa does not go outside. She does not wish to bump into neighbours or get lost. She is already lost.

She sits on the sofa and hears the click of air conditioning adjusting to keep her comfortable.

She sees other pictures of her husband and now knows from unopened letters that his name is Mark Sutcliffe. Mark, Alyssa and Pat Sutcliffe. One happy family.

She is still sitting there when Mark returns. He is really quite tall, which is easier to notice now that he is upright. Six-three, six-four at least.

“How are you feeling?” he asks, brows knitted with concern.

“I need to see a doctor,” says Alyssa.

 




Chapter Two

Aminat

Aminat is twenty minutes early for her appointment, which is exactly how she likes it. She is never on time, and she abhors lateness. She leaves her briefcase locked in the boot and her car in the visitors’ park even though she is an employee. The sign says Department of Agriculture, Ubar. Most people believe that, and there are a few legitimate floors that cater to the agrarian needs of Nigerians, which, in Rosewater, means storage of the abundant food growth in vast silos, refrigerated or otherwise. That notwithstanding, the main business of this building is in the sublevels that house Section Forty-five.

Before she reaches the main doors she powers down her phone by tapping her forearm twice. Inside, there are no receptionists. It is a Saturday and only workers with S45 business come around. She knows her implant has been scanned and doors open for her, but she does not meet a single person. The only sound is the click-clack of her heels on the polished floor. She comes to an elevator and it opens. There are no numbers on the inside, just polished metal and an overhead light. The music is something cribbed from Marvin Gaye that Aminat hums as she begins to descend.

She adjusts her suit and checks her make-up in the imperfect reflection.

“Miss Arigbede, the elevator will soon be coming to a stop,” says a disembodied voice.

“Thank you,” she says.

When the doors open there is a man waiting just outside. He is armed with a machine pistol, but he smiles and nods to her, then points to the double doors at the end of a short corridor. He wears no ID tag and Aminat wonders if this is so he can shoot without repercussions.

The doors open into a research lab. Femi Alaagomeji, Aminat’s boss, is already there. She is wearing an incongruous summer dress, but Femi is one of those exceptionally beautiful people who look good in anything. Everybody in every room stares at Femi. Always.

“You’re early,” says Femi. “Good.”

“Good morning, ma’am.”

“How’s your boyfriend?”

“I left him playing chess with a computer,” Aminat says. Not true, but it deflects interest.

Femi grunts, and hands Aminat a pair of wraparound goggles.

They stand in a small room with a bank of monitors, some technicians and a transparent screen that takes up an entire wall. Behind the screen there is a man strapped into a chair. It looks like he’s at the dentist’s, or is about to receive shock therapy, although he seems calm. He has on a navy blue body suit, and there are electrodes attached all over him. Technicians crawl around him, checking, calibrating, fussing. Opposite is a large machine with a cylindrical projection that points towards him as if it will take an X-ray photograph. The back of the machine is connected to a larger mechanism linked to a horizontal metal torus that curves into the distance and back. There are no people around it so Aminat cannot judge its height.

“You know why I’ve asked you here?” says Femi.

“An experiment in decoupling?” says Aminat.

“Yes. Since it’s related to your work I thought you would like to observe.”

Indeed. For decades the entire biosphere has been gradually contaminated with an alien species, a microorganism designated ascomycetes xenosphericus. There may be sub-strains and variants but they share a protean nature and a disdain for the Hayflick Limit. Over time S45 has discovered that these xenoforms have been slowly mimicking human cells, taking over human bodies. The pace has been leisurely, and Aminat herself is only 7 per cent alien. She has seen subjects with xenoform percentages in the low forties. Her job is to find a chemical cure. She knows there are others, like this bunch, working on the same problem. Decoupling is the theoretical separation of xenoform from human tissue. In practice, nothing has been able to remove the alien cells.

Femi points Aminat to a seat, but since her boss is standing, Aminat declines. She notes that apart from Femi’s fruity perfume, there is no smell in the room. Not even antiseptic. A large display counts down from forty-five seconds while the techies do their last-minute dithering. Aminat glances at Femi, admiring her skin, her posture, her poise. Femi is as tall as Aminat, but thicker about the middle and without the athlete’s muscle tone. This imperfection seems to make Femi even more attractive. Aminat knows that Femi Alaagomeji is only 2 per cent xenoform, one of the lowest on record for adults. Newborns have undetectable levels but by the end of the first year of life it’s usually up to 1 per cent.

Ten seconds. An alarm goes off and the techies inside the walled-off area run out and seal the subject in. He is sweating despite a display that tells Aminat it is twenty-two Celsius in the chamber. His eyes are wide and Aminat bets if she could read his mind he would be asking himself why the fuck he volunteered.

The lights dip when the counter reaches zero.

“That shouldn’t happen,” says Femi, frowning. “It has an independent circuit.”

There is no sound signifying activation, but the man winces. The biometry fluctuates wildly, too fast for Aminat to follow, but the techies at the monitors seem perturbed. The subject’s mouth is now wide open and his neck veins stand out like they want to burst free. He is straining against his bounds. He is probably screaming.

“Is this supposed to be painful?” says Aminat.

Femi turns to one of the techies who shakes his head. “The animal models didn’t suggest—”

The subject… disintegrates into a mud-coloured mush that splashes free of bounds and spreads over the floor. The spatter hits the screen, making Aminat jump back. The techies scream and cringe almost in synchrony. Femi alone does not react.

“I hope to God he signed all the release forms,” she says. “We can’t get cancer from any of that, right? Actually, don’t answer that. Why am I asking someone who just microwaved my test subject?”

“Ma’am, I don’t know what happened, how we failed,” says one of the techs.

“Who says you failed?” asks Femi.

“Ma’am, the man is dead?”

“Yes, but that was not the test, now, was it?”

“I don’t follow.”

Femi sighs. “Go into yonder chamber, yamhead, and take samples of the tissue. Test the tissue for xenoforms. If there are none, you have succeeded. Am I the only one awake here?”

“But the subject is dead, ma’am.”

“Details, details,” says Femi. “Have you had breakfast, Aminat?”

Mid-morning in Rosewater. After witnessing what happened to the subject Aminat cannot eat, but Femi seems famished and takes them out of the Ministry of Agriculture to a place in the south of the city by travelling on the anti-clockwise arm of the rail, past the north ganglion to the decidedly less affluent area of Ona-oko where she knows a small buka. The owner, Barry, has a third eye, a duplicate left eye, just in the pit of his throat at the root of his neck. It is closed most of the time, and crust builds up along the line of the lids. On occasion it weeps, and when Barry focuses on something it flicks open.

“I’ve never asked if he can see out of it,” says Femi between mouthfuls of rice and dodo. “I can’t see how it would be functional.”

Aminat does not comment. She pushes her food around the plate to be polite. She thinks the plantain they picked for her own dodo might have been over-ripe. When Barry hovers it feels like the unblinking eye of God, and makes her uncomfortable. The reconstructed always make her feel uncomfortable, like they are the aliens’ playthings or experiments. Of course, they do it to themselves, cutting and moulding their own flesh on the eve of the Opening, then basking in the healing xenoforms that emerge from the biodome. Aminat wonders if Wormwood really has to fix them up this way, especially since it can read genetic material and use this as an accurate blueprint. Each to their own. The buka is on the second floor of a three-storey petesi, and since Ona-oko is mostly flat the dome is visible. This morning it is a dull cerulean with dark spots across the surface. If it were the same colour every day people would not notice it any more, perhaps. If you lived near the Karnak Pyramids would you even see them? There are more protrusions this month than last, according to the radio. The spikes are relatively new features of the dome.

The seats are wooden, uncomfortable, and the place is clean, though barely up to regulation standard. The air is full of spices and flavours. Femi’s bodyguards have emptied the place out, paying for all the seats and soothing tempers. All four of them now stand facing the windows. Aminat knows that between them they are emitting a distortion field that protects the conversation.

“Are you okay, Arigbede? Do you need a debrief?” asks Femi.

“I do not,” says Aminat.

“The experiment bothers you?”

“Does it not you?” asks Aminat.

Femi takes a sip of water, then shakes her head. “The experiment, no. The outcome, yes. A little bit. But I have a lot of things to worry about, some of them even more gruesome than what we saw an hour ago.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I wish you’d be more informal with me. Not too informal, but…”

Aminat stays silent, feels it is the best option.

“How’s Kaaro?” asks Femi.

“He’s private,” says Aminat. The hair on the back of her neck rises.

“I’m asking professionally,” says Femi.

“Professionally, he’s private. We don’t speak about work; he has not betrayed any official secrets.”

Femi laughs. “Scripted response.”

“Ma’am, what’s this about?”

“How is your work going, Aminat?”

“I send weekly progress reports—”

“Yes, yes, boring, coated in jargon that could be interpreted either way, skilful equivocation that would satisfy a bureaucrat. I am not a bureaucrat, Aminat.”

“I don’t know how to—”

“Stop. Don’t waste my time. Give me your honest, blunt opinion of your work. No bullshit.”

Aminat exhales. “I find people with low xenoform counts and try to see if it can be kept low. I find people with high xenoform counts and I experiment with different chemical compounds delivered in different ways, then I check xenoform counts again, trying to achieve decoupling. My team is good, and I have good resources, but I do not believe decoupling is possible. The work is interesting and I’d like to continue, but I think the xenoforms are embedded fundamentally. They are a part of what it means to be human now. It’s like the best parasite or symbiote. Keep the host alive as long as it’s attached.”

“Six months ago the physics team came to me with this idea. Complicated higher math that I don’t understand, but they feel they can disrupt the Higgs field around the xenoforms and remove them at a sub-atomic level. That work culminated in this morning’s liquefaction.”

The wind changes and a sour smell from the Yemaja River displaces the savoury aroma. Femi wrinkles her perfect nose. Aminat suspects surgical enhancement.

“How would you like to go to space?” asks Femi.

“What?”

“Space. The so-called final frontier.”

“You mean like the Mars colony?”

“No, just to the space station. Our space station. To the Nautilus.”

Femi is trying to be casual, but Aminat can see her body language has changed.

“You knew the experiment would fail this morning, that the man would die. This is the real reason I’m here.”

“I got a second and third opinion from Beijing and Cambridge months ago. I knew their theory was faulty, but I didn’t know it would prove fatal for the subject,” says Femi. “And yes, this is why you’re here. Space. Geostationary orbit. Do you want to go?”

“Why? Space is a graveyard. Besides, isn’t the Nautilus decommissioned?”

“It makes more sense to answer your second question first. The Nautilus was not so much decommissioned as abandoned. It was barely a space station in the first place. An international African conglomerate financed it, but the money ran out and they just let the crew die. A mission to retrieve them would have cost too much. It was cheaper to cut communications, pay hush money to the families and announce a cover story of organised decommissioning complete with CGI showing some stages and labelling the rest Classified.

“As to the why, we need you to go up there and take tissue samples. If conditions in space can keep humans free of xenoforms that would be an interesting development.”

“How does that make sense? The xenoforms came from space in the first place.”

“This comes from on high, Aminat. Ours not to reason why, et cetera.”

“Okay, who’s paying for it?”

“Excuse me?”

“You said the cost of rescuing those poor bastards in the Nautilus was too high. How can they justify the cost of sending me there?”

“It’s not the same ‘they’ and not the same cost. What I want to know, Aminat, is if you have the ovaries for this. It’s a short mission.”

“Can I think about it?”

“Sure.” Femi drank more water. “But don’t take too long. We’re talking about the extinction of the human race here. Fairly important, I’d say.”

This is 98.5 digital and on your dial. That was “Cartwheel,” the latest single from Dio9. Breaking news for all you alien spotters, a roll-up was spotted breaching not once, but twice, folks, near Kehinde. Rosewater Environmental continues to investigate. Sunny day, no showers, no fog. Just a fantastic weekend for fantastic people.

Genre:

  • "Non-linear, challenging, and beautifully told, this novel represents the chilling, gorgeous future of 21st-century sci-fi."B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog
  • "I found myself close to tears, the human cost of insurrection laid bare. Thompson's willingness to push himself as a writer, to not just rely on his strengths -- the zippy dialogue, the sharp storytelling -- is the reason I will continue to follow his career, why I will read whatever he writes."—Locus
  • "Terrific... raises the bar, introducing a number of fascinating new elements into an already intriguing storyline. If you haven't go started on it already this is a series you'll want to get on board with now."—Toronto Star
  • "Mind-bending.... Alternately epic and almost claustrophobically intimate.... The exciting second half and intriguing ending set the stage for what promises to be a fascinating conclusion."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Mesmerising. There are echoes of Neuromancer and Arrival in here, but this astonishing debut is beholden to no one."—M. R. Carey on Rosewater
  • "Smart. Gripping. Fabulous!"Ann Leckie on Rosewater
  • "Nothing short of brilliant.... A captivating, cerebral work of science fiction that may very well signal a new definitive voice in the genre."—Kirkus on Rosewater
  • "A magnificent tour de force, skillfully written and full of original and disturbing ideas."—Adrian Tchaikovsky on Rosewater
  • "Thompson's genius in displacing his tale of successive xenobiological attacks from the West onto the developing world is matched by his breathtakingly smart prose.... Deeply engrossing."—The Seattle Review of Books on Rosewater
  • "A sharply satirical, ingenious thriller about an alien invasion that's disturbing familiar. Tade Thompson has built a fascinating world that will suck you in and keep you guessing. This book will eat you alive, and you'll like it."—Annalee Newitz on Rosewater
  • "One of the most thoughtful and inventive alien contact tales of recent decades."Locus on Rosewater
  • "Compellingly strange yet accessible... a character-driven, morally grey tale of hope and potential redemption."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Rosewater
  • "Intriguing Afrofuturistic tale [that] features an incredible mashup of alien contact and human-centered power, delivering a stark and gritty story that will keep readers engaged."—Library Journal
  • "Deeply imagined characters and vibrant, startling imagery... An author to watch."—B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog on Rosewater
  • "A strange and unsettling story of psychics, conspiracy, and alien invasion unlike anything I've read before. Masterfully constructed, brimming with ideas and slowly unfolding mystery, Rosewater hurt my brain in the best of ways."—Fonda Lee on Rosewater
  • "Perfect for fans of William Gibson's Neuromancer, this twisty, captivating page-turner explores the fragility of the mind and how memory constructs identity."—BookPage on Rosewater
  • "Inventive aliens and realistic-feeling invasion... keen observations of how easily people ignore and accept what should be terrifying... intriguing characters (many of them women) who have lives of their own beyond the pages... fascinating."—Strange Horizons on Rosewater
  • "This thrilling, ambitious novel offers a deftly woven and incisive blend of science fiction, psychology, action, and mystery. Highly recommended."—Kate Elliott on Rosewater
  • "One of the most imaginative alien invasion scenarios I have come across."—Aliette de Bodard, Nebula and BSFA award-winning author, on Rosewater
  • "A fiercely weird, breathtaking biopunk tale of alien invasion, Rosewater is ambitious and smart and very, very cool."—Tasha Suri on Rosewater
  • "Quite simply one of best books I have read for quite some time."—SFCrowsnest on Rosewater
  • "As strange, vivid and intricate as the alien biosphere at its heart, Rosewater is a fabulous book and Tade Thompson is a writer of enormous heart and talent. Just brilliant."—Dave Hutchinson on Rosewater
  • "Inventive and creepy... revolutionary."Ozy on Rosewater
  • "Original, entertaining, and food for thought. Tade Thompson is an exciting new voice in our field and I can't wait to read more of his work."—Pat Cadigan on Rosewater
  • "Part thriller, part mystery and part phantasmagoric journey across a strange yet not-too-distant future, and reminiscent at times of both Roger Zelazny and Nnedi Okorafor, Rosewater is the hardboiled, Nigerian alien invasion story you always wanted."—Lavie Tidhar on Rosewater

On Sale
Mar 12, 2019
Page Count
416 pages
Publisher
Orbit
ISBN-13
9780316449083

Tade Thompson

About the Author

Tade Thompson is the author of the Rosewater novels, the Molly Southbourne books, and Making Wolf. He has won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nommo Award, and the Prix Julia Verlanger and been a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award, the Locus Awards, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Hugo Awards, among others. He lives and works on the south coast of England. 

Learn more about this author