Too like the lightning

(Terra Ignota #1)

432 pages

English language

Published May 9, 2016 by Tor Books.

OCLC Number:

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (1 review)

From the winner of the 2017 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Ada Palmer's 2017 Compton Crook Award-winning political science fiction, Too Like the Lightning, ventures into a human future of extraordinary originality

Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer--a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion, but which also knows that the inner lives of humans cannot be wished away.

The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is as strange to our 21st-century eyes as ours would be to a native of the 1500s. It is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance, and also on complex and mandatory systems of labelling all public writing and speech. …

4 editions

I need to reread

4 stars

This is a gorgeous setting, with a vast cast of characters, extremely ambitious. I enjoyed it but I was often confused. I want to reread, though, and then tackle the other books in the series. I had the good fortune to be on a couple of panels with the author--moderating one panel on utopias--at Kansas City's Worldcon in 2016, when the book was being launched. As an academic and writer, she is so much smarter and sharper than I've ever been.


  • Utopias
  • Prisoners
  • Twenty-fifth century
  • Fiction
  • Third millennium