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The Practice, the Horizon, and the Chain

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Named a Best Sci-Fi Book of 2024 by Esquire

A Most Anticipated in 2024 Pick for Goodreads | LitHub | Book Riot | She Reads | The Nerd Daily

“I am in love with Sofia Samatar's lyricism and the haunting beauty of her imagination. Her stories linger, like the memory of a sumptuous feast.”—N. K. Jemisin

Celebrated author Sofia Samatar presents a mystical, revolutionary space adventure for the exhausted dreamer in this brilliant science fiction novella tackling the carceral state and violence embedded in the ivory tower while embodying the legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin.

The boy was raised as one of the Chained, condemned to toil in the bowels of a mining ship out among the stars. His whole world changes—literally—when he is yanked “upstairs” and informed he has been given an opportunity to be educated at the ship’s university alongside the elite.

Overwhelmed and alone, the boy forms a bond with the woman he comes to know as “the professor,” a weary idealist and descendent of the Chained who has spent her career striving for validation from her more senior colleagues, only to fall short at every turn.

Together, the boy and the woman will embark on a transformative journey to grasp the design of the chains that fetter them both—and are the key to breaking free.

ISBN-13: 9781250881809

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Tordotcom

Publication Date: 04-16-2024

Pages: 112

Sofia Samatar’s first novel, A Stranger in Olondria, won the 2014 William L. Crawford Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time. She also received the 2014 Astounding Award for Best New Writer. Her novel The Winged Histories completed the Olondria duology, and was followed by Tender: StoriesMonster Portraits (with the artist Del Samatar), and The White Mosque: A Memoir. Sofia lives in Virginia and teaches at James Madison University.