Beautifully written, extraordinarily powerful, One Two wins the 2017
Millennium Book Award
Often broody, suspicious of those he doesn’t know well, islander, Alec Ellison, has spent his whole life hiding what makes him different. Then uninvited newcomers arrive to bring him to his rightful home, a world where he is so much more than DNA. Oppressive or not, though, life on Gamma is all he’s ever known and leaving doesn’t come easy for him. When he learns that the island and its inhabitants will likely be destroyed if he leaves, he struggles to decide if free will is worth the senseless loss of life. There are only three ways onto Gamma, an island where liberty is an abstract facade: you’re born here, arrive by invitation, or you sneak in. Invited newcomers are rare and serve only two purposes: to keep the existing population from growing bored, or to increase the population with their approved genetic blue-print. Either way, once an islander, always an islander, and leaving the petri dish is not an option. The Stone Davis Corporation owns all, controls all, and makes all your decisions. You accept what they give, and what they take away, but understand that management takes way more than they give. Everything you know is a lie. To escape is to resist and no battle worth fighting has ever come cheap.
A rousing dystopian science fiction epic, Gamma is the debut release from M. Susanne Wiggins and it’s enormously readable. Look to the broader realms of the genre when reading it and you’d be hard-pressed to deny some of the more notable influences that have inspired her musings but rest assured she isn’t out to dull the masses with literary opium. Creating a powerful visual sense of time and place which quickly ensnares our curiosity it might be a long read but Wiggins makes it well worth surrendering to her imagination. Far too often authors of dystopian fiction fall back on arty, pretentious psychobabble to detract readers from wafer-thin plots but Wiggins pitches it just right with refreshingly uncompromising prose and a meticulous eye for detail whilst maintaining an equitable balance between action and intrigue. On this level, she does what the best science fiction writers do and goes beyond the lure of her lead protagonist to use the future as a way to critiquing the present and it's here her writing really comes into its own.
With a host of powerful auxiliary characters that are hard to forget Wiggins has delivered a corker of a debut and one which bodes well for future releases in her ‘League of Worlds’ series. It is highly recommended.
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I respectfully misbehave in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, living vicariously through tourists and their many tales, adventures, and stories. They are, without a doubt, the workhorses of my imagination. Without them and the vibrant snapshots of their lives, I am but an empty page. A standing ovation and a round of applause to all of you, there’s a little bit of each of you in everything I write.