Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family's sub-light starship, the Hajj.
Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger.
Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.
“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