“Elegant, cruel, and brutally perfect, Company Town is a prize of a novel.”
–Mira Grant, New York Times Bestselling and Hugo-Award nominated author of the
“A brilliant and chilling look at our post-oil future. I haven’t been this
hooked by an SF novel for ages.”
―Charlie Stross, author of Empire State
“The world is an updated version of Raymond Chandler’s, with gray morals and
broken characters, and Hwa’s internal monologue has just the right balance of
introspection and wit…[a] very solid page-turner.”
“I’m an immense fan of Ashby’s work…It is often profound, and it is never
―Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
“Action-filled, intriguing and, in moments, gripping, Ashby’s sci-fi mystery will have readers turning the pages.”
–RT Book Reviews
They call it Company Town–a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.
Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig–making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?
Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa’s front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be–but now, the danger is personal.
A brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can’t be saved, or saving herself.
“A terrific ride at the hands of a storyteller as skilled in her own way as Hwa is in hers.”
– Locus Magazine
“Company Town is the most twisted posthuman novel You’ve ever read… a book
that keeps you thinking about what it means to be human in a posthuman
world—even as it also keeps you entertained with action, serial killers, and
crazy plot twists.”
“This is brave, bold, crazy storytelling at the edge and doesn’t read like anything else I’ve seen up or down the pike. I don’t even know where she gets this ideas, but I hope she keeps getting them and writing the stories that result. If there is any justice and kindness in the world, one of the prominent names of science-fiction going forward will be Madeline Ashby.”
– Chuck Wendig, John W. Campbell-nominated author of the Miriam Black Series
“Ashby deftly introduces an escalating series of solid hard science-fiction ideas, ranging from global warming to cyborgs, spaceships and even possible multiple timelines”
“If you want to know what the future will look like, reading Madeline Ashby is a good bet. The verisimilitude of her imagination and settings will appease the most voracious Science Fiction fan. If you want a stylish future-noir with a unique and compelling protagonist, you’ll find it here, under one of the most beautiful covers I’ve seen this year. And watching Ashby as she continues her work, both non-fiction and in genre, is going to be a fun career to track.”– Martin McClellan, The Seattle Review of Books
“Company Town is a locked-room murder mystery at sea, in a setting that’s got trenchant things to say about class and gender, and about the way that our technological ambitions reflect both of them. Hwa ranks with science fiction’s great badasses, and as a technological refusenik, she’s the perfect protagonist for this story about the way that money, power and technology all dream together. Take Ashby’s pyrotechnical prose, her talent for writing mean and true things about sex, and combine them with a futuristic, gritty setting, and you get Company Town.” – Boing Boing
One of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for May 2016
Tor, world English, Winter 2016