|Sold by:|| Macmillan |
Price set by seller.
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more
Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.
Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.
Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing "Send link," you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message & data rates may apply.
Company Town Kindle Edition
2017 Winner of the Sunburst Award Society's Copper Cylinder Adult Award
2017 Canada Reads Finalist
2017 Locus Award Finalist for Science Fiction Novel Category
2017 Sunburst Award Finalist for Adult Fiction
2017 Aurora Awards Finalist for Best Novell
Madeline Ashby's Company Town is a brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.
"Elegant, cruel, and brutally perfect, Company Town is a prize of a novel." —Mira Grant, New York Times Bestselling and Hugo-Award nominated author of the Newsflesh series
New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.
Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig—making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?
Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be—but now, the danger is personal.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
"A thrilling near-future noir mystery....A fascinating book from a writer with great vision." ―Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels series
“Smart, weird dystopia.” ―Margaret Atwood
"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein.... Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." ―Locus
"This is brave, bold, crazy storytelling at the edge and doesn't read like anything else I've seen up or down the pike." ―Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Aftermath
"A brilliant and chilling look at our post-oil future. I haven't been this hooked by an SF novel for ages." ―Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files series
"Loved Company Town, Madeline Ashby’s wonderfully imaginative new sci-fi mystery with a fascinating female protagonist." ―Feminist Frequency
"The world is an updated version of Raymond Chandler's, with gray morals and broken characters, and Hwa's internal monologue has just the right balance of introspection and wit...[a] very solid page-turner." ―Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating mix of detective noir and near-future SF with cinematic world building and a broken, but resilient, unquestionably badass heroine." ―Booklist
"Ashby's action scenes come thick and fast...the ideas, setting and relationships that make the story really worth reading." ―New Zealand Herald
EditCopy to TI
"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein....Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." --Locus
"I'm an immense fan of Ashby's work...It is often profound, and it is never boring." ―Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
About the Author
- ASIN : B0176PDIHS
- Publisher : Tor Books (May 17, 2016)
- Publication date : May 17, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 1542 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 288 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #658,588 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Company Town is set several hundred years in the future in a town that has grown up around a drilling rig in the North Atlantic off the Newfoundland coast. The town, New Arcadia, has been purchased by the huge, multinational Lynch corporation. Go Hwa-jung, a young half-Korean woman who goes by Hwa, works as a bodyguard for the United Sex Workers of Canada as the story opens. She is "100% organic," having shunned the implants and other "augments" that prolong the lives and lend new abilities to virtually everyone around her.
However, Hwa somehow manages to disguise what she thinks of as her ugliness. "His eyes were not programmed to see her true face," Hwa muses, "or the stain dripping from her left eye down her neck to her arm and her ribs and her leg. She had tested his vision several times; he never stared, never made reference to her dazzle-pattern face . . . He could spend every minute of every day observing her, and never truly see her." The man Hwa is thinking about is a trusted Lynch employee who becomes her supervisor after the company's purchase of the town. He "probably had a perfect metabolism. It would be a combination of deep brain stimulation that kept him from serotonin crashes, a vagus nerve implant that regulated his insulin production, and whatever gentle genetic optimization he'd had in utero. He was a regular goddam Übermensch."
Ingenious writing of this sort kept me deeply engaged in the novel nearly all the way to the end. So I was expecting a more satisfactory resolution of the murder mystery at the core of the novel's plot. Unfortunately, Ashby resorts to what writers of old called a deus ex machina. I can only imagine that this flaw is what kept this otherwise superb novel from winning those prizes it was nominated for.
Madeline Ashby is not just a science fiction writer. She's a "strategic forecast consultant"—a futurist—who has, according to her bio on Amazon, "developed science fiction prototypes for Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, the Atlantic Council, Data & Society, InteraXon, and others." No wonder she could write such a strange sci-fi novel!
This was a decent enough read: the writing style, dialogue, sense of place, action, pacing, characterization are all decent to good. Many excellently subtle pop culture references; the kind that you're not even sure they _are_ references half the time. A nice counter to books that bludgeon you to death with blunt nostalgia (hi Ready Player One.)
The world building is uneven; some good chewy cyberpunk for sure, but also some odd bits that just feel thrown in for good measure. Plus many unexplained aspects, some of which are unfortunately core to the story. Why is there an entire actual city around an oil rig? And why does a setting with nanotechnology and strong AI and robotics need humans doing manual labor? Etc.
Endings are hard but the one here feels pretty rushed and it's a detriment. What is probably intended as a standard plot twist just comes off as pointless or bewildering. Might've worked better if some characters were easier to keep track of.
All that said I definitely do not regret my purchase or time and would recommend this to someone seeking new cyberpunk or even just urban action/drama with a well written/realized female protagonist.
At its heart, I guess it's a sci fi/Steampunk mystery, and holy s@?#!, it's a good one! But it's so far from the average one we might pick up these days. Hwa, the protagonist, is BRILLIANT! She's tough, strong, damaged, imperfect, and doesn't care whether you judge her. Joel is another great character. I enjoyed their interactions with each other, and with Daniel, and the sex workers.
The mystery is a compelling one, as is the setting. I recommended this with all my heart. However, I do urge you to clear your schedule first. I am still reeling from the book.
Oh, what a great book this was!
I want to note that I read half of the book on my Kindle, but the other half I listened to. It took me a chapter or so to get used to the woman who narrated, but once I did, I enjoyed how she made it all come to life.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters in the book are credible. The environments are detailed, and the world-building is credible. The story rattles along nicely - and the character development in the main protagonists is as interesting as the various plot twists.