A long-lost battleship and an arranged marriage may hold the key to faster-than-light travel and humanity’s future in R.W.W. Greene’s “The Light Years.”
Hisako Saski was born with her life already mapped out. In exchange for an education, better housing for her family, and a boost out of poverty, she’s been contracted into an arranged marriage to Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and amateur musician who works and lives aboard his family's sub-light freighter, the Hajj.
Hisako is not happy with the deal. The arcane branch of physics it requires her to study broke off a thousand years before, and she is not keen on the idea of giving up everything she knows to marry a stranger and move onto an aging spaceship.
Onboard the Hajj, Hisako soon learns her dilemmas are overshadowed by the discovery of ancient secrets, a derelict warship, and a chance at giving the survivors of Earth a fresh start.
“On the surface, you get an engrossing space opera, but if you look deeper you will find explorations of poverty, arranged marriage, and the toll that difficult moral choices take on families.”
"Greene builds his immersive and socially complex world on these deeply human questions. The Light Years is a story of resistance and acceptance, anger and forgiveness, and the costs of our actions."
-- Booklist, starred review
"Sophisticated worldbuilding and diverse, emotionally-resonant characters make Greene an author to watch."
-- Publishers Weekly
“The main characters are distinctive, Greene’s dialogue lively and the prose vivid.”
– SFX Magazine
“It’s always exciting to discover a major new talent, but I was astonished by the verve of R.W.W. Greene’s debut novel. With a thriller plot teeming with characters who are true citizens of his far future, he manages to keep this starship adventure real while letting his imagination race faster than the speed of light. The Light Years is one of best novels about the psychological challenges of relativity I’ve ever read. This is what science fiction was invented for!”
– James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards.
“Love in the time of relativity. Greene paints a picture of the social complexities of the lightspeed era, with realistic characters navigating interstellar intrigue.”
– Dan Moren, author of The Bayern Agenda
“The Light Years is a thought-provoking debut from a skilled writer. You’ll be drawn into a credible future of bespoke spouses and lost technologies that questions the human cost of the stars we strive for.”
-- E.C. Ambrose, author of The Dark Apostle series
"Laced with politics, science, history, poetry, music, greed, hope, and a little Johnny Cash, this character-rich space opera has a well-developed and believable plot that kept me reading from the opening line to the surprising and satisfying end.”
– Kelly Stone Gamble, USA Today best-selling author of They Call Me Crazy