Always North by Vicki Jarrett
Always North is one of the most memorable and grippingly readable novels about climate change I've ever opened: compelling, beautifully estranging and wonderfully urgent in its imaginative passion. The perfect blend of arctic mystery thriller, science fiction and post disaster apocalypse. You won't want to miss this one.
Adam Roberts, author of The Thing Itself, Jack Glass and many more
Vicki Jarrett’s terrific novel conjures the mythic from concerns about climate change, featuring a voyage, a labyrinth, perhaps even old and new gods. It’s wonderfully detailed and disorienting, rewarding the attentive reader with its looping structure and careful meditation on the nature of memory and time. Wry, thrilling and constantly entertaining, Always North is an absolute triumph.
Tim major, author of snakeskins and and the house lights dim
Told in glowing prose, Always North confronts the oncoming future with power, wit and originality. Come for the intrigue of a mission into the changing Arctic; stay for the ingenious shift to a Britain shattered by rising water. It will mesmerise you.
M. T. Hill, author of Zero Bomb and The Breach
We all have to work to live, even if it is an illegal survey for oil in the rapidly melting arctic. Software engineer Isobel needs to eat like everyone, and that’s how she fell into the job that leads her to the most northerly place on our planet.
As part of a weathered crew of sailors, scientists and corporate officers she sails into the ice where their advanced software Proteus will map everything there is to know. A great icebreaker leads their way into the brutal environment, and the days grow longer, time ever more detached, as they pass through the endless white expanse of the ice.
But they are not alone. They have attracted the attention of seals, gulls and a hungry, dedicated polar bear. The journey to plunder one of the few remaining resources the planet has to offer must endure the ravages of the ice, the bear and time itself.
This is what we find when we travel – Always North – a profound meditation on our consumption of the world, and the perception of time. For fans of Adam Robert’s The Thing Itself, only at the farthest reaches of the world can we see the truths closest to our minds.
Vicki Jarrett is a tremendous talent and a writer fit for our times. ALWAYS North is packed with startling prose, sublime humour and prodigious heart. It is a hell of a story, one in the great tradition of Atwood and Le Guin: terrifying in its plausibility, provocative in its challenges, and above all massively entertaining.
Iain Maloney, author of The Waves Burn Bright and The Only Gaijin in the Village
Always North is funny, startling, uncanny and beautifully written. A gripping and intricate story of climate disaster but also of responsibility and how we come to terms as individuals with our part in it. A story with heart and determination that will crawl inside your skull and nest there, staying with you long after you’ve read the last page.
– Ross McCleary, author of Portrait of the Artist as a Viable Alternative to Death
It hooks you in and draws you under right from the start. A nightmare vision of the future from one of Scotland’s finest writers, Always North is an extraordinary achievement.
– Pippa Goldschmidt, author of The Falling Sky and The Need for Better Regulation of Outer Space
A fascinatingly constructed novel that deals with environmental collapse in a way reminiscent of J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World… Vicki Jarrett does with her narrative what figure skaters do with ice, cutting graceful, nearly symmetrical loops in their media for an effortless beauty that belies the strength behind it.
– The Frumious Consortium
Complicity in our own destruction is at the heart of Vicki Jarrett’s second novel, a climate catastrophe story that takes us from the barren splendour of the Arctic to the equally arresting vistas of the Cairngorms… Always North is at the forefront of contemporary science fiction, not only a prophecy but a mirror.
– Shoreline of Infinity
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-912658-03-9
ePub ISBN: 978-1-912658-04-6
Publication date: 7th October 2019
Format: Paperback, ePub and mobi