Unsung Stories would like to congratulate Kirstin Innes on her Not the Booker Prize win, for her novel Fishnet.
As you probably know, our title Dark Star by Oliver Langmead, was also in the running for the prize. As a small indie press we were thrilled to have one of our books on a such a diverse and interesting list, showing the breadth and quality of writing in the UK. It’s great to see that both authors and readers are willing to take risks on literature that may fall beneath the radar of the bigger publishers and prizes.
Dark Star was something of an unusual entry – hardboiled SF noir, all presented in epic verse. It was science-fiction in a more traditional literary competition, so we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for the book to get us on the list in the first place, all of you who had kind words to say about the novel and to everyone who has bought it so far!
If you want to see what all the fuss is about you can pick up your copy here.
What people have been saying about Dark Star:
Not the Booker Prize judge, Benjamin Judge
Not the Booker Prize judge, Dr Victoria James
Peter Sutton, Bristol Festival of Literature
Dark Star by Oliver Langmead. A brilliantly written piece of work that manages to make a sci-fi noir epic poem seem incredibly vital and relevant. Dark Star is one of those books that urges you to read it all in one sitting. I haven't been so impressed and moved by a sci-fi text since Michael Marshall Smith's 'Only Forward’.
– John Doran
My biggest surprise of the year, an epic sci-fi noir poem which shouldn't work, but does. A genuinely interesting mystery, with a beautifully realised conclusion. I can't imagine a stranger, more enjoyable book this year.
– Daniel Carpenter
A very visual experience with a lot of space to imagine and picture the story. The use of epic verse adds a certain rhythm and a new dimension to the text. A solid story makes the book hard to put down.
I'm voting for this book because it is a pacy, dark, page-turner. The author wasn't scared to take risk and, I guess, a sci-fi epic poem is pretty risky.
– Tim Harding
A real page turner, which was initially surprising to me given that it's in epic verse, but that doesn't get in the way and rather makes for a more interesting read with a different rhythm. The story itself is good: gripping, quirky, entertaining. It’s sci-fi, but not too much, and it presents and then explores some interesting scenarios. Given the right director it could be a fantastic film, but if you pick it up now you won’t have to wait and see as you’ll be wanting to get from cover to cover before you can say ‘that’s the best epic poem I’ve read in ages’.
– Rory Kingan
Dark Star by Oliver Langmead, because once you get into the swing of the verse, it's very hard to put this one down. It's so unlike this world that you just can't compare it. Total escapism at its very finest, and it shows every side of humanity, good and bad.
I haven’t seen a story told this way ever before. The rhythm and pacing hooked me from the first page. I’m in awe of how vivid the world appeared in my mind when described with such careful and economic use of so few words.