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Akashic Books

A River Called Time

A River Called Time

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A monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics, and conscience, set in parallel Londons.

Newland...imagines a world where colonialism never happened at all...It's speculative fiction that genuinely made me speculate.

A dystopian multiverse imagined at thrilling scale...Extraordinary...The excitement lies largely in its ideas about power and personal responsibility.
--Times Literary Supplement

Newland has produced a text that piques and provokes, providing a guidebook to worlds both uncomfortably familiar and radically new.
--Strange Horizons

An immersive speculative novel set in a dystopian city that's facing an uprising.
--Foreword Reviews, a Book of the Day selection

What would London be like if the UK had not colonized half the world? That's the question that drives Courttia Newland's A River Called Time. When young Markriss has the opportunity to move into the Ark--a massive structure that promises a utopian existence for the invited--he takes it, only to find that the world of his dreams isn't as idyllic as he was promised.

Part sci-fi, fantasy, and Afro-futurism but not squarely one or the other, A River Called Time transports the reader into a London undone by time, a London of possibility and, necessarily, of new villains.
--Public Books

No one can doubt the sheer energy and verve of Newland's vision.
--The Guardian (UK), Book of the Day selection

This mystical coming-of-age sure to please fans of thought-provoking speculative fiction.
--Publishers Weekly

This is an ambitiously imagined book that, by removing the European lens on African cultures, creates a new reality that allows us to question how we view our own. Complex and multilayered, this novel opens the door to the possibilities of noncolonial worlds.
--Kirkus Reviews

A River Called Time is ambitious, sprawling, unpredictable and fascinating...A relentlessly imaginative novel about a world where colonialism and slavery never occurred and yet brutal inequality persists.
--Shelf Awareness

Courttia Newland is a formidable writer...And his latest work, A River Called Time, is an extraordinary piece of speculative fiction...Newland offers a brilliant remix of history...This may be a work of speculative fiction but its critical lens is present and prescient.
--Financial Times, reviewed by Imani Perry

The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning.

Years after the Ark was cut off from the world--a world much like our own, but in which slavery has never existed--a chance of survival within the Ark's confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself, and the people he thought he once knew.

Author: Courttia Newland
Publisher: Akashic Books
Published: 04/06/2021
Pages: 448
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.40lbs
Size: 9.40h x 5.90w x 1.60d
ISBN: 9781617759260

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 01/04/2021
Kirkus Reviews 02/01/2021
Library Journal 04/02/2021 pg. 1
Shelf Awareness 04/09/2021

About the Author

Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his much-lauded debut, The Scholar. His last novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published by Akashic in 2013. In 2016 he was awarded the Roland Rees Bursary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written two episodes of the Steve McQueen BBC series Small Axe.

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