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Six Wakes
Cover of Six Wakes
Six Wakes
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A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer—before they kill again.It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.At...
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer—before they kill again.It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.At...
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  • A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer—before they kill again.

    It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

    At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.

    Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently...

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 28, 2016
    Lafferty (The Shambling Guide to New York City) takes readers aboard an ill-fated colony ship crewed by criminals in this taut science fiction thriller. Ecological collapse and social and political upheaval have convinced humans to colonize another world: the Earth-like planet Artemis, orbiting Tau Ceti. The ship Dormire carries 2,000 cryo-sleeping colonists and a crew of six clones with criminal pasts who are hoping to build new lives with clean slates. But nearly 25 years into the mission, the crew awaken in the middle of a bloody crime scene. One of them—maybe more than one—is a murderer, the ship is off course, the ship’s AI is offline, all records have been deleted, and there’s no way to communicate with Earth. As suspicions and hostilities rise, it’s not certain who, or what, will survive. Interleaving urgent scenes with telling flashbacks, Lafferty delivers a tense nail-biter of a story fueled by memorable characters and thoughtful worldbuilding. This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that’s certain to earn it a spot on award ballots.

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2016
    The fantasist author of the hilarious The Shambling Guide to New York City (2013) ventures into science-fiction horror.The immediate setup will be familiar to mystery fans: five dead bodies, variously stabbed, poisoned, or hanged, and no survivors. Whodunit? We're in the 25th century, however, on a sub-light speed starship whose controlling artificial intelligence, IAN, is offline. The six--gofer Maria Arena, Capt. Katrina de la Cruz, navigator/pilot Akihiro Sato, security chief Wolfgang, engineer Paul Seurat, and Dr. Joanna Glass--wake in new, cloned bodies, covered in slime, surrounded by vats, tubes, gore, and the horror of their own slaughtered corpses, with no idea of what's been happening since the voyage began. They do recall earlier lifetimes, but evidently they were all criminals, so nobody can afford to reveal anything or trust anybody else. And with both the clone-growth and memory-backup processes sabotaged, the bodies they now occupy are their last. Maybe this is all just too devious for its own good. In any event, the narrative never quite lives up to that remarkable opening. Momentum dissipates amid frequent pauses to belabor the cloning process and laws relating to clone succession, not to mention a succession of scientific howlers (for instance, the ship depends for power on a solar sail--but there's no "solar" in interstellar space). Still, as the characters delve separately and together into their previous lives in search of an explanation for their predicament, the tension rises, personalities are revealed, and common factors emerge--some of them, we learn, are retired, recovering, or repurposed homicidal maniacs. You have to wonder why, given Lafferty's manifest talent for humor, she didn't simply play it for laughs. Still, readers easily captivated and not overly concerned with structural dependability will find much to entertain them.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2016

    Waking up on a spaceship in gravity failure surrounded by dead bodies, the six crew members climb out of their cloning chambers, baffled by what might have caused the carnage. While they can see that their former bodies were attacked, none of them have any memories of the events. In fact, they have no recollection of the past 20-odd years they have apparently been aboard the Dormire. In all their other lives, the clones were brought back to life using stored mind maps that allowed them to keep a continuity with their earlier selves. But now the six survivors must figure out who killed their previous bodies and why. VERDICT Lafferty (Bookburners) delivers the ultimate locked-room mystery combined with top-notch sf worldbuilding. The puzzle of who is responsible for the devastation on the ship keeps the pages turning.--MM

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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