A Strange and Brilliant Light: Winner of the Writers' Guild Best First Novel Award

A Strange and Brilliant Light: Winner of the Writers' Guild Best First Novel Award

3.46 (208 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.46 (208 ratings by Goodreads)

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WINNER of the WRITERS' GUILD BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD: A riveting, thought-provoking speculative literary novel exploring the impact of the AI revolution through the eyes of three very different young women.

Lal, Janetta and Rose are living in a time of flux. Technological advance has brought huge financial rewards to those with power, but large swathes of the population are losing their jobs to artificial intelligence, or auts, as they're called. Unemployment is high, discontent is rife and rumours are swirling. Many feel robbed - not just of their livelihoods, but of their hopes for the future.

Lal is languishing in her role at a coffee shop and feeling overshadowed by her quietly brilliant sister, Janetta, whose Ph.D. is focused on making auts empathetic. Even Rose, Lal's best friend, has found a sense of purpose in charismatic up-and-coming politician Alek.

When vigilantes break in to the coffee shop and destroy their new coffee-making aut, it sets in motion a chain of events that will pull the three young women in very different directions.

Change is coming - change that will launch humankind into a new era. If Rose, Lal and Janetta can find a way to combine their burgeoning talents, they might just end up setting the course of history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 24mm | 220g
  • Jo Fletcher Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529407745
  • 9781529407747
  • 1,934,350

Review Text

A thought-provoking novel
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Review quote

Important ideas are wrapped in an absorbing, character-driven novel that's also a thought-provoking consideration of the ways we might cope with something that is already happening all around us. * LISA TUTTLE, The Guardian * Mind-bending * CAROLE STIVERS, bestselling author of THE MOTHER CODE * A disquieting take on Big Tech's plans for the future of work * GWYNETH JONES, author of the Arthur C. Clarke-winning BOLD AS LOVE * If you like small, intimate fiction that asks very big questions, this is the perfect novel for you * FANFIADDICT * Smoothly written * FINANCIAL TIMES * a beautifully written, thought provoking novel * MUSE'S BOOK JOURNAL * Fans of relational narratives will enjoy the interactions of the three protagonists while there is also intellectual AI debate for those science fiction readers more drawn to ideas over people * SFBOOK REVIEWS * Lee gives the reader a massive amount to ponder as well as delivering a brilliantly written and absorbing story about some very real people * BLUE BOOK BALLOON * Incredibly thought provoking * A LITTLE HAZE BOOK BLOG * This is a thoughtful, interior-focused story...like Ishiguro's Klara And The Sun * SFX MAGAZINE * A slickly written and enjoyable novel * SFCROWSNEST * Thoughtful... provides much food for thought * PAR SEC MAGAZINE * Lee has created a story that feels relevant and poignant for a world on the brink of automating so many parts of our working lives * BOOKS IN STEEL CITY * A thought-provoking novel * THERESA SMITH WRITES * Eli Lee can write description and emotion beautifully * BOOKS BY YOUR BEDSIDE * Often bleak, A Strange and Brilliant Light is also sad, hopeful, funny, and brilliant, such that I expect to see it on a lot of award lists. This quiet, thoughtful novel, almost entirely led by flawed but amazing women, has a lot to say about the world we're about to be living in. It will, I hope, inspire many to think long and hard about what we want our future to be like. * BSFA *
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About Eli Lee

Eli Lee was born in Dorset and is now is based in London. As well as writing fiction and non-fiction for a variety of anthologies, magazines and websites, she is fiction editor and contributor to literary journal Minor Literature[s] and has also worked for Strange Horizons. Find her on Twitter at @_elilee.
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Rating details

3.46 out of 5 stars
- 208 ratings
5 24% (50)
4 22% (45)
3 35% (72)
2 15% (32)
1 4% (9)
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