Ada King - E.M. Faulds' debut science fiction novel

A revolutionary adventure in science fiction. Our near future, featuring AI, nanotech, alternative energy, post-humanism, lost undersea cities and submarines! Read on for a plot summary and extracts.

Plot summary

In the future we will go from nearly 200 nations on Earth to just 3. These giant superpowers will be aligned by ideology rather than geography. Climate change has ravaged many communities, forcing them to the fringes of society, and extraordinary leaders emerge from the chaos.

Ada King's childhood begins just like others in the Corporated States - raised in a home so her parents can work for the good of the people - but she soon learns she is different.

She has three strange companions no-one else can see: a butterfly, a dog and a monstrous man who help her to do things others cannot. Her government becomes keenly interested in exploiting her gifts and steers her towards violating the minds of their enemies. She must escape, but where to?

Ikatere is a young man who wakes up to find out that overnight his native tongue has been outlawed. His island has been invaded and the regime threatens his family.

Agung is a husband and father whose home and community has been devastated by the Earth's climate gone mad. He must take to the danger of the seas to save them.

Ada, Ikatere and Agung find the end of their paths is Raft City, a new way of living far from the straitjacket of tyranny. Together they will bring about the next stage of human evolution - a melding of high technology and imagination - but in doing so they must put themselves in extreme jeopardy. And who is the mysterious group who appear to be pulling their strings from the shadows?

Excerpts

Extract : Finding Raft City

The crown of circling seabirds, wings flashing light then dark where there should be clear sky, gave it away. It looked like a floating scrapheap from a distance, but through his binoculars Ikatere could pick out structure, coloured cloth in the wind, glimpses of movement and even the sound of laughter as he approached the baroque monster of Raft City. The white, elegantly-planed cruise liner was a centrepiece while pontoons, boats and yachts, catamarans, outriggers and even what looked like a jet ski were laced into a kind of living mat. When he focused on one part, an individual unit, the fact that it was out here in the open ocean was crazy but when he looked at the whole, it was an organic leviathan, a man-made island and it made perfect sense.

Extract : Meeting an AI submarine's avatar

The woman wore a white outfit that fell in lines so clean they almost hurt the eyes and she glowed with an unearthly radiance. Her blonde hair was laser straight and her eyes were violet; not the sort of bluish colour for eyes often described as violet, but actually closer to purple. Her hands were clasped neutrally, neatly in front of her. "Who are you?" she asked, sounding politely curious.

"My name is Ikatere," he responded, slowly. His mind began many calculations. The sub had been here for probably fifty years, maybe up to a hundred. "And you are...?" He made cautious movements as he entered the room. It was configured with command chairs and large instrument panels. A bridge, then.

"I am Liberty Via Force," the woman answered. "For whom do you fight?" she asked, tilting her head slightly to the side. Ikatere began to breathe a little faster.

"There is no fighting anymore," he answered, holding up his hands, placating. "At least, not for the people you're thinking about. Things have changed. Access your comms and you will see I'm telling the truth." The woman frowned, a little puzzle of lines crinkling her forehead in an appealing way. She closed her eyes for a moment, then opened them and nodded.

"I cannot access my base. I was put on dark protocol. It has been a long time," she said thoughtfully. "It seems that things have changed. I conclude you are truthful." She lifted her chin and it was then that Ikatere heard the descending buzz of some system powering down. He forced his chest to let out his breath. "But of course, there is still the matter of your trespass on Secessionist property." His breath deserted again as the system buzzed and spun up again. This time he noticed little ports opening with some wicked machinery behind. He began to talk, fast.

"The government you fought for no longer exists. You don't belong to anyone anymore!"

Liberty Via Force tilted her head once more, clearly intrigued by this concept. "And do you wish to make me your property?" she asked, gun ports still open. "Perhaps salvage me?"

"I don't think I could," Ikatere answered honestly. "Can we just try to be friends?"

"Friends," she said dreamily, as if testing the word in her mouth. "Perhaps."

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Take a peek inside, read reviewer's comments and see if Ada King is the adventure you've been looking for!

Geek stuff

I love a good code and puzzle. Who doesn't? Every name, code and designation in the book has a meaning. Some are based on the name's direct meaning, some are personal to me and some are puns. There are also cultural references that may or may not jump out at you (if you don't get them, you won't notice).

Get some hints and answers in the Ada blog page