Crystal Rain (Mass Market Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Long ago, people of Caribbean descent came to Nanagada looking for a world to make their own. Much of what they brought with them has been lost through the years, but evidence of the old-fathers’ ways remains. Them old-father left some pretty interesting stuff lying around. And then there’re the gods, both teotl and loa.

For years the marauding Azteca have been held at bay behind the Wicked High Mountains, but now they’re on the move and the people of Nanagada are preparing for siege. Their only hope lies in the frozen north, a surviving piece of old-father tech called the Ma Wi Jung, but the only man who might be able to access it has no memory of his past … his very long past. And then there’s Pepper. Don’t get me started about Pepper.

Aliens assuming the mantle of the gods, blood sacrifice, assorted old-father tech, long-buried memories, incredibly complex characters, and inspired writing make for a wonderful first novel by the quite talented author of some 25 short stories. Crystal Rain is novel that’s both sense-of-wonder-old-school-adventure-sf and a hint of things to come. And, again, don’t get me started about Pepper. Pepper’s just plain cool, man.

For you ragamuffins always bugging me for something new, here’s your Holy Grail. And mark me words, people: He go be big man someday. And I’ve a feeling that the best is yet to come.



Long ago, so the stories say, the old-fathers came to Nanagada through a worm's hole in the sky. Looking for a new world to call their own, they brought with them a rich mélange of cultures, religions, and dialects from a far-off planet called Earth. Mighty were the old-fathers, with the power to shape the world to their liking---but that was many generations ago, and what was once known has long been lost. Steamboats and gas-filled blimps now traverse the planet, where people once looked up to see great silver cities in the sky. Like his world, John deBrun has forgotten more than he remembers. Twenty-seven years ago, he washed up onto the shore of Nanagada with no memory of his past. Although he has made a new life for himself among the peaceful islanders, his soul remains haunted by unanswered questions about his own identity. These mysteries take on new urgency when the fearsome Azteca storm over the Wicked High Mountains in search of fresh blood and hearts to feed their cruel, inhuman gods. Nanagada's only hope lies in a mythical artifact, the Ma Wi Jung, said to be hidden somewhere in the frozen north. And only John deBrun knows the device's secrets, even if he can't remember why or how! Crystal Rain is the much-anticipated debut novel by one of science fiction's newest and most promising talents.

About the Author

Tobias S. Buckell is the author of Halo: The Cole ProtocolSly Mongoose and Ragamuffin. His books have been finalists for the Nebula Award, the Prometheus Award, and the Romantic Times Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. He hails from the Caribbean, where as a child he lived on boats in Grenada and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. When he was a teenager, his family moved to Ohio after a series of hurricanes destroyed the boat they were living on, and he attended Bluffton University in Bluffton, Ohio, where he still lives today. Buckell fell in love with science fiction at a young age, reading Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov novels when he was seven years old. He is now a full-time author and freelancer.

Praise for Crystal Rain…

"There's a nova in the skies: Tobias S. Buckell is a dazzling new voice, and Crystal Rain is an explosive debut. Read it!"--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Hominids "Crystal Rain is refreshing and imaginative, an exotic stew of cultures, myths, and technology."--Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling author "Crystal Rain conjures a vividly imagined world, spiced with intrigue and adventure that unfolds at a breakneck pace."--Booklist "Caribbean-born Buckell's debut captures the flavor of Afro-Caribbean culture in the lilting dialog of his characters and in their customs."--Library Journal (starred review) on Crystal Rain

Product Details ISBN-10: 0765350904
ISBN-13: 9780765350909
Published: Tor Science Fiction, 05/01/2007
Pages: 384
Language: English