Mini-Review: THE BURNING LIGHT by Bradley Beaulieu & Rob Ziegler (

BeaulieuZiegler-BurningLightAn interesting post-apocalyptic sci-fi story

Disgraced government operative Colonel Chu is exiled to the flooded relic of New York City. Something called the Light has hit the streets like an epidemic, leavings its users strung out and disconnected from the mind-network humanity relies on. Chu has lost everything she cares about to the Light. She’ll end the threat or die trying.

A former corporate pilot who controlled a thousand ships with her mind, Zola looks like just another Light-junkie living hand to mouth on the edge of society. She’s special though. As much as she needs the Light, the Light needs her too. But, Chu is getting close and Zola can’t hide forever.

This was a pretty interesting novella. Set in a dilapidated New York City. There were a few moments when the story’s momentum dipped, but it was for the main a pretty well-paced, engaging story. This is an interesting sci-fi/dystopian story.

The eternally-connected nature of society in this story is a plausible trajectory for today’s technology and social-media obsessed/addicted Western world. Sure, a little exaggerated, perhaps, but the authors have done a great job of making the developments in logistics and communication plausible. The cat-and-mouse aspect of the story could have been developed more, I think — given the brief length of the book, I was left thinking certain things could have been fleshed out. At the same time, I appreciate the authors’ apparent focus on getting to the story quickly, and not getting bogged down in world-building. They give us enough that we can easily picture the scenes, and getting a sense of the atmosphere. I wonder if this was a conscious decision, to leave space for more stories set in this future? (I’d certainly be interested in reading more.)

A story I think I would have liked to have been longer, but an interesting and enjoyable read nonetheless. Recommended for fans of dystopian science fiction.


Also on CR: Interview with Bradley Beaulieu; Guest Posts “The Ties That Bind”, “On Co-Authoring Strata” (with Stephen Gaskell); Excerpt of Twelve Kings; Reviews of The Winds of KhalakovoTwelve Kings and Strata

The Burning Light is published by on November 1st, 2016.

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