Pride and Prometheus
2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. On February 13, my new novel Pride and Prometheus was published by Saga Books.
Pride and Prejudice meets Frankenstein as Mary Bennet falls for the enigmatic
Victor Frankenstein and befriends his monstrous Creature in this clever fusion
of two popular classics.
Threatened with destruction unless he fashions a wife for his Creature,
Victor Frankenstein travels to England where he meets Mary and Kitty Bennet,
the remaining unmarried sisters of the Bennet family from Pride and Prejudice.
As Mary and Victor become increasingly attracted to each other, the Creature
looks on impatiently, waiting for his bride. But where will Victor find
a female body from which to create the monster’s mate?
Meanwhile, the awkward Mary hopes that Victor will save her from
approaching spinsterhood while wondering what dark secret he is
keeping from her.
Pride and Prometheus fuses the gothic horror of Mary Shelley with the
Regency romance of Jane Austen in an exciting novel that combines
two age-old stories in a fresh and startling way.
The website The Frankenstein Meme has this interview I did about how I came to write Pride and Prometheus, its connection with both Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, the differences between the
novel of manners and science fiction, and what relevance Frankenstein has for us today.
The Moon and the Other
The trade paperback edition of The Moon and the Other appeared in December from Simon & Schuster.
In the mid 22nd century over six million people live in twenty independent city-states on the moon. Everyday life goes on in underground cities a few feet below the airless lunar surface. It’s a world of implanted AIs, self-replicating camera bugs, intelligence-augmented talking animals, life extension, designer artificial limbs, and a feminist utopia where men have all the sex they want but no right to vote.
Founded in the mid-21st century, the female-dominated Society of Cousins is considered by other colonies a dangerous tyranny of women over men. Its rival Persepolis, established by secular exiles from Iran, is the largest lunar state, a cosmopolitan city of wealth and power.
Ten years in exile from the Society after taking part in a rebellion that caused his mother’s death, Erno lives in Persepolis. There he meets and marries Amestris, the brilliant daughter of the richest man on the moon, as she fights the patriarchal expectations of her home and family.
In the Society of Cousins, Mira, a rebellious loner whose graffiti videos challenge her home’s female domination, is hopelessly in love with the exemplar of male privilege, Carey. Carey, an Olympic champion in low-gravity martial arts and the most popular bedmate in the Society, is trying gain custody of his teenaged son even though he’s more suited to be a boyfriend than a parent.
When the Organization of Lunar States sends a team to investigate the condition of men in the Society, Amestris sees a chance to get free of her family, Erno seeks to steal information that will make his fortune, Mira sees a chance for social change that will expunge her guilt over her brother’s death, and Carey attempts to become independent of the matriarchy that considers him a perpetual adolescent. Political tensions grow, secrets are revealed, terrorism threatens, and in the climax all of their lives are changed irrevocably.
“Expansive in scope and ambition, dazzling in conception, precise in its language, and nuanced in its vision, the future has seldom been imagined with such intensity of detail. John Kessel has shot the moon with this book.”
Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
"This is a really fine science fiction novel, brilliant and thought-provoking. I have not been able to stop pondering its questions, and I think that will go on for a long time. It's a book destined to be discussed and argued over: an intense experience. Kessel has always been great at doing this to his readers, but this may be his best yet."
Kim Stanley Robinson, NYT best selling author of 2312