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Light Brigade

From the Hugo Award­­-winning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.

They said the war would turn us into light. 

The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief—no matter what actually happens during combat.

Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.

Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero—or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.

Coming March 19, 2019

Praise

“Hurley is one of the most important voices in the field, and The Light Brigade is some of her best work. This is the real thing.”

—James S.A. Corey, author of The Expanse series

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW) Hugo winner Hurley’s second futuristic novel (after The Stars Are Legion) is a smart, brutal, and structurally sophisticated military science fiction tale with a time travel twist. Infantry recruit Dietz is a “ghoul,” someone who’s denied access to basic social benefits provided by the squabbling megacorporations that dominate the solar system. After Martian separatists destroy her city, she enlists as a corporate military grunt. Dietz is broken down into light particles and beamed into combat zone after combat zone. But unlike her squadmates, she begins experiencing her combat drops—and the entire war—out of order. Hurley’s time travel mechanics are intricate but never alienating, and they perfectly serve this story of “poor ageless grunts” caught in war’s unending loop. Much of the drama comes from Dietz’s growing disillusionment with the war, and her heartbreaking camaraderie with squadmates whose deaths she has already experienced. Like Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, this book is both a gripping story of future warfare and an incisive antiwar fable. Readers will savor this striking novel’s ambitious structure and critique of rapacious, militarized capitalism. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Mar.)

Publisher's Weekly

Starship Troopers meets Edge of Tomorrow. A grim and gritty future where wars are fought between corporations and the rest of us are ground in the machinery, but there’s room for hope, and heroes, and a call for us all to be the light in dark times. The juggling of timelines here is incredibly impressive. Hurley makes what must have been a beast of a book to write look easy, and never boring. The pacing perfect and the revelation of secrets upon secrets satisfying. Hurley is at the top of her game. Highly recommend.

—Rebecca Roanhorse, author of TRAIL OF LIGHTNING