Tor | 2017 (ebook: 5 September; Pb: 13 October) | c.100p | Review copy | Buy the book
Duke Faraday is sleeping off the effects of his 150th birthday celebrations when he’s woken up with dire news. A probe is approaching their colony. Earth has found them. They must dismantle the whole enormous complex and move off, seeking safety in the darkness of space once more. Earth wants every one of them dead. Duke, the colony’s president, must do all he can to keep them alive. He can only hope that nobody does anything stupid with the drone, such as shoot it down. He doesn’t want to make Earth even more mad that it is already.
Acadie is a short novella by Dave Hutchinson, author of the highly original and prophetic Fractured Europe series, now complete. Hutchinson takes us away from Earth and into the realms of space, where mankind has the ability to alter itself – extra arms and legs are just the beginning. Earth itself is less keen on this tampering.
This is a very quick read at under an hour and, as with the best short stories, it left me wanting much more. There is definitely enough here to form the heart of an exciting and thought-provoking full-length novel. Dave Hutchinson is so good at coming up with ideas and backing them up with fantastic characters and such an enjoyable writing style. The wit is on display here, especially in the very likeable character of Duke.
There are hints of wonder as well as the stuff of nightmares, all told with humour and an eye for the curious. Giving nothing away, the ending packs an enormous punch. It is such a fun read. While it left me wanting much more, I certainly enjoyed what I was given. I just hope that Dave Hutchinson ventures into space again – and soon.