Mother of Eden

• October 5th, 2012 • Posted in Books

Mother of Eden cover

“We speak of a mother’s love, but we forget her power. Power over life. Power to give and to withhold.”

“A masterpiece”  The Guardian

Shortlisted for BSFA Best Novel 2015

Generations after the breakup of the human family of Eden. the Johnfolk emphasise knowledge and innovation, the Davidfolk tradition and cohesion. But both have built hierarchical societies sustained by violence and dominated by men – and both claim to be the favoured children of a long-dead woman from Earth that all Eden knows as Gela, the mother of them all.

When Starlight Brooking meets a handsome and powerful man from across Worldpool, she believes he will offer an outlet for her ambition and energy. But she has no idea that she will be a stand-in for Gela herself, and wear Gela’s ring on her own finger.Mother of Eden US cover

And she has no idea either of the enemies she will make, no inkling that a time will come when she, like John Redlantern, will choose to kill.

Mother of Eden Q & A

French and Polish editions forthcoming.

UK paperback out on April 7th, 2016

Review on


178 comments on “Mother of Eden”

  1. Nicki Westacott says:

    Hi Chris, just wanted to say that Dark Eden was a fantastic read. My 16 year old son thought it was the best book he had ever read, and we are both looking forward to the next one.
    Best wishes,

  2. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Nicki. This is all very encouraging when I am working on another one. I’m very pleased your son liked it too. It seems to go down well with readers his age (or the characters’ age!)

  3. Jon says:

    I caught Dark Eden after seeing a review on the Wertzone, and got the kindle version (no paper version in the US at the time). Glad to see a sequel, I was worried that Dark Eden would be lost under the pile of urban fantasy garbage that seems to dominate the SFF genre these days, and we’d miss out on another look into one of the best imaginary worlds in fiction. Thanks for writing!

  4. Chris says:

    Many thanks Jon.

  5. Mick says:

    Hi Chris

    My first SF read in a while, I loved it and will recommend it to readers of all genres. I have found myself ‘swearing’ in Edenish in front of the kids, which shows me the level of a reality you’ve reached ( and stops my kids hearing the f word).

    Can’t wait for Gela’s Ring.


  6. Chris says:

    To think I’ve started a new kind of swearing. I can die happy!

    Thanks so much for the feedback Mick.

  7. Alison says:

    I have just finished Dark Eden, and feel like I want to start it all over again, because I enjoyed it so much. What an original idea. And I particularly loved the development of the characters, I felt I really got to know each person. Thank you for a brilliant read, I look forward to reading more by you!

  8. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Alison. It is really nice of you to give me this feedback. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is.

  9. Josh says:

    Best book I have ever read. Thank you.

  10. Chris says:

    Wow. Thanks Josh. That’s set me up for the day!

  11. Jussi says:

    It seems you hear this a lot, but also I have to say Dark Eden was one of the best books I’ve ever read. I really sunk into the world and it was hard hard to put the book down (I finished it last night around 4.30 am…)! I especially loved the way the background story of Tommy and Gela became clearer little by little and how the development of the society at Eden seemed so realistic. Also the use of different perspectives on things (sometimes John’s, sometimes Tina’s etc..) was refreshing and a great way to show how people (mis)interpret each other.

    Keep up the good work, I’m sure to buy the sequel!

  12. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Jussi. As I’ve said before, it’s really encouraging to have this feedback. Like having people cheering you on when you’re running in a race or something!

  13. Ryan says:

    I keep annoying my girlfriend by referring to sex as ‘having a slip’. I’ve explained that it’s your fault!

  14. Chris says:

    I’m happy to take the blame Ryan!

  15. Melanie Jones says:

    Hi I’d just like to tell you how much I enjoyed “Dark Eden”. It kept me turning the pages all night. I’m really looking forward to “Gela’s Ring”, I hope you keep this world alive and I hope one day they’ll get in contact with Earth again xx
    Much love

  16. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Melanie. I’m really pleased you enjoyed it. I must say it’s a nice feeling to have invented a world which other people like to inhabit.

  17. Jack Powers says:

    Chris, I finally got round to buying Dark Eden this week and simply had to say how much I loved it.

    I’d go so far to say that it was good good good, and I am so happy to find out there will be a sequel; particularly when the premise sounds so interesting.

    I am intrigued to find out how John – who was so (painfully) aware of his place as an actor in a story – will come to be remembered when he has actually become a legend himself.

    The only problem I had with Dark Eden was that I found it too compelling and finished it much too soon! I will have to try and have some better self-control with Gela’s Ring.

  18. Chris says:

    I’d just turned on my laptop for a day’s writing when I saw your comment, Jack. Thanks very much. You’ve set me up nicely for a day’s work on Gela’s Ring. I’m now about 80% through the first draft. John is indeed remembered as a very major figure in it.

  19. Ryan says:

    Echoing what a good book this is. Cannot wait for the sequel (…trilogy, movie etc !) I’m a teacher and think this would actually be a great addition to the curriculum sitting alongside teachers fave Lord of the Flies. It’s so full of ideas and yet so digestible I think my students would love it.

  20. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Ryan. I read Lord of the Flies at school when I was 13, and it made a big impression on me. I think it was the first time I really understood that a book could be a way of thinking about life, rather than simply an entertainment. Unlike L of F this book wasn’t written with young people specifically in mind, but of course I’m delighted that young people seem to enjoy and relate to it. And I’d be very pleased if it turned out to be useful in the way you suggest.

  21. Marc Strozyk says:

    I somehow stumbled upon your book Dark Eden and it got its claws into me right away. The 2013 Burning Man theme this year is going to be Cargo Cult and your book gave me some great ideas for that. Glad to hear there will be a sequel. Keep up the great work.

  22. Chris says:

    Oh thanks Marc. It is a cargo cult they’re getting into isn’t it? I didn’t think of it as exactly that, but it is. I’m glad it gave you some ideas.

  23. Holly King says:

    Hi, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed Dark Eden, it was a pleasure to see some well thought out world-building for once, and Eden is a place made with a lot of imagination. I am 27, so not a YA but I thought it was great, and appealing to range of ages. I do have one question though… What is a Stronry? Its the one thing I couldn’t work out! I loved the twisting of historical facts, and the different point of view chapters, as I think a lot of information was conveyed without info-dumping. I very much look forward to your next novel

  24. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Holly. I’m glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you letting me know. I didn’t write it particularly with YAs in mind, and am very pleased that it seems to appeal to people of most ages, including YAs and Middle-Aged As like myself.

    Lots of people are puzzled about Strornry. It comes from Extraordinary, as in Extraordinary Meeting!

  25. Neil says:

    Michael’s dick I enjoyed this book. Love their use of language and the thinking that must have gone into it, can’t wait to read Gela’s Ring

  26. Chris says:

    Thanks Neil. Great that you liked it so much. I’m pleased pleased!

  27. Nathan says:

    I am curious about the fact that this will initially be available in a monthly magazine. May I ask did writing for the magazine modify in any way your writing style i.e. were you aware of the more urgent need to insert cliffhanger type scenarios in the novel as it would be reproduced initially in a format that wanted to deliver that kind of “until the next episode” feeling with the reader left in a kind of eager suspense of what will happen next. Were you conscious of the need to cater for that kind of audience just as for example a tv series like 24 must keep the audience hanging on with a crisis or moment of uncertainty at the end of each hour?

    Or perhaps you just wrote this novel as you would any other and the montly installment thing didn’t play on your mind at all?

  28. Chris says:

    I made some effect to finish each episode with something that would whet the reader’s appetite for more, Nathan, though not necessarily cliff-hangers. The other thing that was different was that I had to settle at the outset for a predetermined length for the book.

    Curiously the book has the potential now to take two different forms. Once an episode has been published, I can’t go back and change it, and the rest of the book has to be consistent with what I’ve already committed myself too. However the book version, not yet delivered to the publisher, isn’t subject to the same constraints, and I’ll be working with a different editor in either case.

  29. Tony Bittan says:

    Hi Chris,
    Just wanted to add to the praise above. I’ve just finished “Dark Eden”, and have no hesitation in describing it as one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Wonderful work on so many levels. I couldn’t put it down.

  30. Chris says:

    Wow, that’s high praise indeed. Thanks so much Tony.

  31. Dan says:

    I downloaded Dark Eden for the Kindle a few days ago, after a friend recommended it, and I must say I’ve not been as gripped by a story since Stephen King’s “The Stand”. A very unputdownable read, and looking forward to the sequel. Excellent work Chris!

  32. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Dan.

  33. Rudy Tambala says:

    Dear Chris

    I enjoyed the original short story of Dark Eden so much that avoided the novel. I finally succumbed a few weeks back and was gripped from the very first page. Being an East Londoner the vernacular you created was spot on and cracked me up, and I find myself exclaiming “Tom’s dick” frequently.
    Can’t wait to see how you develope that in the sequel.
    I smiled or LOLd the whole way through, and had a – shoosh- teary moment once or twice.
    The genius moment for me was how you related the original story in pantomime form, and the resonance of the kid’s voices across time. Nice one.

    Up the with The Chrysalids!

    All the best

    Ps Holy Machine is brilliant and Our Land very very clever (send a copy to Noam Chomsky 😉

  34. Anthony says:

    Just finished reading Dark Eden. Outstanding novel, Chris. You created a vivid, believable world; inhabited it with psychologically rich characters and my word, do you know how to whip up some serious, nerve shredding tension. Thank you for writing it, I’ve been pushing it onto everyone I know.

  35. Chris says:

    Thanks Rudy. The voices back and forth across time was the part I personally particiular enjoyed writing.

  36. Chris says:

    Many thanks Anthony.

  37. Toby says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m a history teacher and promote my current read on my door. I’ve had a few questions about why I read so much SF and tend to reply by suggesting Orwell as a way to understand the development of fear and blame in society – yes, I do teach the Russian revolution, the rise of Hitler and the Cold War! Next to 1984 I shall now suggest Dark Eden as essential reading.

  38. Chris says:

    That’s great, Toby, thanks. What an honour!

  39. Sean says:

    Just finished reading Dark Eden, really fantastic book. I love that Angela and Tommy weren’t the hyper-competent survivors you normally find in books like this. They understood how to use their technology, but were clueless when it came to actually reproducing it. I can’t wait for the full version of Gela’s Ring to be published, I enjoy consuming a book all at once too much to read monthly installments.

    Here’s to hoping the societies in Blinding Light end up a bit better off than the hostile, male dominated ones in Gela’s Ring.

  40. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Sean.

  41. AlisonC says:

    Really enjoyed dark Eden, but its quite a sad end. Human failings very much on display.

  42. Chris says:

    The ending isn’t to everyone’s taste, I’ve noticed, Alison, even people who like the rest of the book. For myself, I really don’t like neat endings that wrap everything up. I sometimes feel a bit cheated by them: a world that had seemed expansive and large suddenly turns out to be finite and closed.

    I’m glad you liked the book and thanks for letting me know.

  43. Lianne Barnard says:

    I am a jaded reader and very few books satisfy me these days, but I profoundly enjoyed Dark Eden. I loved the play with language, especially the reduplication. It is a limited feature of Afrikaans and has been taken up into South African English, as in “I’ll come now-now.” I noticed that sometimes a word was repeated 3 times for emphasis and I am looking forward forward to reading Gela’s ring to see if this trend has been continued. I also hope they had not had to invent a word for rape yet.

  44. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Lianne. It’s great to have satisfied even a jaded reader. I didn’t know that duplicated words were a feature of Afrikaans, but interestingly Afrikaans was in the back of my mind as an example of a language which evolved a new, and as I understand it, considerably simplified grammar, when it was separated from its parent language.

  45. Dan Smith says:

    I’ve just finished Dark Eden and thoroughly enjoyed every page. I am no stranger to science fiction yet you have easily managed to create the most ~alien~ inhabitable planet I’ve ever encountered and combined it with brilliant character development and a fantastic plot. Thanks for a very entertaining read, I’m excited excited about the sequel!

    It’s a bit of a clichéd question to ask an author but I am genuinely interested in your answer. If you don’t mind me asking, whose books do you enjoy reading?

    Many thanks,


  46. Chris says:

    Thanks very much, Dan. You can see some of the stuff I’ve been reading lately listed under ‘other people’s books’ on this website. I seem to read nearly as much non-fiction as fiction these days. Some authors, SF and otherwise that I particularly admire are: Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Kazuo Ishiguro, Doris Lessing, Tove Jansson, Christopher Priest, James Tiptree Jr (aka Alice Sheldon), Brian Aldiss, Ursula Le Guin. I thought Ken MacLeod’s Intrusion was excellent, but I haven’t yet read any of his other stuff. ‘The Space Merchants’ by Pohl and Kornbluth is one of my all time favourite SF novels, but I haven’t found anything else they’ve done, singly or separately, that I liked as much, same with China Mieville’s ‘The City and the City’. I’m a big admirer of my friend Tony Ballantyne’s work, and am looking forward to his Dream London, out in October, which I was lucky enough to read in draft form. Other writers whose work impressed me very much at one point, but which I haven’t looked at for some time are C.S.Lewis, Milan Kundera, Russell Hoban. I could go on obviously…

  47. Felix says:

    Hi Chris. Having just finished Dark Eden today, I immediately had to head over here to say how glad I am to hear about Gela’s Ring. The world of Eden is completely unique and I was enthralled with every page. I’ll be telling everybody I know to read it!

  48. Chris says:

    Very pleased to hear it. Thanks Felix.

  49. Raven says:

    I’ve just finished Dark Eden. (It was in a list of recommended summer books last month (June 2013)in (I think) The Guardian newspaper.
    I enjoyed it immensely.
    Within about 2 or 3 chapters, I had decided that the ‘we’re from Earth, and they’re coming back for us’ story was a fairy tale, and in fact the ‘Family’ were part of a experiment. (The bats, up in the trees, were observing and recording all the time.)
    It was good to be wrong footed.
    I’ve not read anything else by you, but I will be seeking your other books out now.
    What made you adopt the literary technique of giving each chapter a particular POV? You use this (potentially very powerful and effective) tool very well.
    I ask because G R R Martin adopts this also in his ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ saga.(He uses it pretty well too.)

  50. Chris says:

    It kind of crept up on me. Originally I was going to tell the whole thing from John’s viewpoint, but it got boring (John being a bit full of himself) and I shifted to Tina’s viewpoint so we could see things from another angle, and found it opened things up for me.

    I like it this way of telling a story so much that I’m using the trick again in the novel I am currently working on, Slaymaker, (though I didn’t use it in the sequel to DE). It allows you to comment on things about characters that they might not notice or speak about themselves, without going for the conventional omniscience 3rd person narrator. I must look at Song of Ice and Fire.

    I really really didn’t want one of those ‘it all turns out to be an experiment’ type stories. I didn’t want to pull the rug out from under this world. So I’m glad it worked for you.

    Many thanks for the kind feedback Raven.

  51. Michael Stanwick says:

    Hello Chris. Congratulations on a marvellous read. One thought crossed my mind after I had completed the book.. How does the lack of sunlight impact on the humans’ physiology – for example the production of vitamin D?

    I am certainly looking forward to the sequel ‘Gela’s Ring’.

    Another poster mentioned the title ‘Blinding Light’. Is that the name of the third story in this series?

    Best Regards

  52. Chris says:

    Hello Michael, I will be honest with you, the absence of vitamin D did not strike me until the problem was pointed out to me by a school kid at a talk I was giving, while still working on the book! I duly decided that starflowers would have to be roped in as a source of the vitamin, and there is a brief allusion to this in the book. I am not sure how likely it is that alien lifeforms would be a viable source of vitamins, or indeed of any other nutrients which we would be able to use, but I suppose the truth is we don’t know.

    Gela’s Ring is the working title of the sequel – now appearing in serial form in the online magazine aethernet. It may have a different title when it comes out in print next year. Blinding Light is just an idea at the moment, but again, if it does become a book, it may have a different title. We’ll see.

  53. Matthew Parker says:

    I have just finished Dark Eden and loved it alot, it has got me through some long nights with a 4 week year old! The character development, sense of adventure and wonder, and the brilliantly realised world of Eden itself really make this stand out from other sci-fi books.

    I’m delighted to hear of the planned sequels, can’t wait to read them.

    On another note, the closest world I can think of to Eden is Pandora from Avatar, I wonder if James Cameron would be interested in making your book into a movie once he is finished with that? He has the technology!

  54. Chris says:

    Really glad you liked the book Matthew.

    Funnily enough you’re the first person to make the comparison with Pandora. I certainly noticed it myself when I saw the film: the luminous forest and even a black six-legged predator. That James Cameron owes me, I reckon!

  55. Eden Hutchins says:

    Really loved the book; I especially liked the way you captured the point where family anecdotes start to turn into myths, and how vague superstitions start to turn into organised religions. The narrative has a wider relevance, showing the tension between those who try to keep things the same, even meaningless traditions and those who need to move on and change things. I’m really relieved to find out that there is going to be a sequel.

    PS I had to get it, considering the title..!

  56. Chris says:

    Indeed you did. What an unusual first name! Thanks very much for the feedback. Means a great deal to me.

  57. Ian says:

    I have never left feedback for an author before, but felt compelled to thank you for taking me to a place which I now feel homesick for.

    I look forward to feeling the warmth of the trees and the hum of the forest.

  58. Chris says:

    Thanks so much Ian. Much appreciated.

    Your comment came as I was in that world myself, on a little island out in Worldpool, where the next book will begin.

  59. Rich says:

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying Dark Eden. I have reached the last 100 pages now and I cannot put it down. In fact, I needed to look up your website to find out if you were writing a sequel, just to put my mind at rest that there is more of this journey to come! Very pleased to hear that there is.

    Well done on a great achievement,


  60. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Rich.

    Hope you enjoy Mother of Eden too!

  61. Koska Shoniwa says:

    My introduction to your work was through The Turing Test. The reader reviews were promising and I was looking for a series of short stories to while away those few minutes immediately after getting into bed and before falling into slumber. I was seriously hooked and have since downloaded all your other fiction works via Amazon Kindle.

    I am struck by the re-working of what is really, (in my view) a Genesis story. Very clever, brilliantly told and very credible – even if on another planet. So, how much were you influenced by the Bible when you wrote Dark Eden? And, is there a story of Eden’s ancestors from Earth finding these Lost Children?

    Thank you for your fabulous contribution to literature!

  62. Dan Harris says:

    Just read dark Eden on holiday, it was amazing and beautifully written! Thanks Chris

  63. Chris says:

    Thanks very much for this Koska.

    I was influenced by the Bible insofar as, like most people in England in my generation, I was brought up with the Bible stories. I didn’t actually refer to the Book of Genesis when writing it. These were my reflections when subsequently I actually did go back and read the Adam and Eve story as it appears there.

  64. Chris says:

    Thanks Dan. Really nice of you to let me know you liked it.

  65. Dave Clegg says:

    As a 60+ SF fan Dark Eden took me back to the books I devoured in my teenage and young adult years. I can’t wait for my wife to read it so that we can compare notes! I found your site whilst searching to see if there were to be a sequel. Work hard, Chris, you have many fans out there waiting for you. Thank you.

  66. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Dave. Sequel coming along!

  67. Denis says:

    Bought Dark Eden yesterday. Finished it this morning. So here to complain that it was too short!

    Fantastic read (beautifully written – the language of the Family in particular. It was good good). Loved immersing myself in the world. Can’t wait to revisit in the sequel.

    Congratulations, and high fives too.


  68. Chris says:

    Thanks Denis. Much appreciated.

  69. Paul says:

    Just been thinking there about how much I enjoyed Dark Eden last year and searched to see if there will be a sequel. This is tremendous news!! I have just acquired the perfect ambient electronica album to listen to whilst reading Mother of Eden, that is what prompted my search. Eerie, somewhat disturbing but hauntingly beautiful, actually recorded on an alien world I believe ;-). Cant wait to combine the two! All the best.

  70. Chris says:

    I love the idea that you have the sound track ready Paul. It will spur me on as I complete the book. Thanks very much for getting in touch.

  71. Aaron says:

    I spotted Dark Eden when browsing my local bookshop, it looked interesting so I thought I’d give it a go. Wow! What a great book! I really enjoyed it. Thank you Chris! I was searching for any other novels you’d written came across this site. I’m so glad to see that there will be a follow up which will allow us to further explore the amazing alien world you’ve created.
    Well done!

  72. Chris says:

    Thankyou very much Aaron. It’s so nice that people contact me and cheer me on like this!

  73. Carla says:

    I’d never heard of this book but I saw this at my local library last Sunday and thought it looked interesting. Throughly enjoyed it from beginning to end and missed my tube stop two three times over the week due to being absorbed and entertained. I’m am so glad I picked this book up; the originality and rich detail reminded me why I love to read and I really can’t wait for a squeal!

  74. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Carla. I made you miss your tube stop more than once: that’s high praise indeed!

  75. Louise says:

    Dark Eden is definitely the best book I’ve ever read. It reminds me of a future version of Lord of the Flies (which is my 2nd favourite book, after Dark Eden replaced it as favourite). I cannot fault the book, it’s impossibly well written and engaging. I’m only annoyed that I didn’t think of the storyline myself!
    I’m only 16 but when I’m older I want to be a science fiction author, and I’d be thrilled if I was half as good as you. I can’t wait to read your next work :)

  76. Chris says:

    Wow. thanks, Louise, that’s high praise indeed – and a lot to live up to as well!

    Lord of the Flies was definitely an influence on this book. So was Russell Hoban’s Riddeley Walker, and Brian Aldiss’s Helliconia trilogy.

  77. Bob says:

    Hi Chris,

    Went to bed early last night to finish off the book, and I wasn’t disappointed. Instead of thinking about work as I drifted off I wondered what would happen when David eventually caught up with John.

    I like books with Ideas (with an “I”) which you hardly notice because they’re so wrapped up in a great story, and DE is one of those. As a commenter above said, the beginnings of a religion, the manipulation of the “seers” for political ends, the loss of message over time were all very transferable to our world. And without giving it away, the pulling of the rug from beneath everyone at the end was very thought-provoking, and got me thinking about what if someone could prove that the foundation of world religious beliefs was a myth – would we behave better or worse? I guess we’ll see in the sequel. I’ll read you other books whilst I’m waiting for it!

  78. Chris says:

    Many thanks Bob. The way messages change over time is also a big theme of the sequel.

  79. Rumcajs says:

    Just finished the book and can’t wait for sequel! Hope it will be published in Polish just after English version.

    Greeteings from Poland

  80. Chris says:

    Hello Rumcajs, I’m really pleased you liked it. There’s a Polish translation of Dark Eden planned (also Turkish, Russian and French), but I don’t know yet about Mother of Eden. Best wishes.

  81. B Eden says:

    Michael’s names, that was a brilliant book! ( This Eden household is also now swearing in Dark Eden ) Thank you – this was the first ever SF book I have enjoyed,and I’m really looking forward to the sequel.

  82. Chris says:

    Thankyou Becky. I am pleased pleased.

  83. laura says:

    Wow! I’ve just finished Dark Eden in two days I just couldn’t put it down! The characters, Eden and all its weird and wonderful creatures, simply stunning. I’m so pleased there is another book so I can return to this dark dark world.

  84. Chris says:

    Thankyou Laura, and thanks for taking the trouble to give me this feedback. It really is much appreciated.

  85. Jason says:

    Chris, thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable read. I finished it in two days and it’s been a long time since a book drew me in that deep. I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.

  86. Chris says:

    Thankyou Jason. Next installment nearly there!

  87. Derek says:


    I arrived at your novel, Dark Eden by way of a stimulating essay on the subject by Steven Shaviro.

    I am feverishly looking forward to its forthcoming sequel.

  88. Chris says:

    Feverishly! Let’s hope I live up to that, Derek.

  89. Mark says:

    I’m another one who came to Dark Eden having read about it on Steven Shaviro’s blog. With any luck, over time, the book will receive the same amount and level of critical and scholarly examination previously given to works such as Lord of the Flies and Animal Farm. Another text it reminded me of, funnily enough, is Brecht’s Life of Galileo, with its themes of rebellion, belief and power. And as an economics student, I found the themes of orthodoxy versus heterodoxy in a time of crisis particularly resonant. Thank you, Chris, for a wonderful book.

  90. Chris says:

    Thankyou Mark. I much appreciate that.

  91. Natka says:

    Any idea when Mother of Eden will be on sale?

  92. John says:

    I hope all is well with you and those close to you.

    I read Dark Eden a little over a year ago (my Goodreads account indicates that I finished it March 28, 2013), and I’ve been impatiently waiting for the sequel.

    When will the complete sequel be released? I know 2014 has been quoted as the release date, but that’s rather broad…

  93. Chris says:

    Hello John. No release date as yet, for the simple reason that I am still putting the finishing touches to it. Nearly there, but I’m not good with tight deadlines, and want to make sure it’s as good as I can make it!

  94. Chris says:

    See answer to previous comment, Natka. None as yet, but will be sure to post the information as soon as it’s available. Thanks for your interest.

  95. Kristian says:


    Breathe…breathe…I can wait. I can wait.

    But seriously, really looking forward to this. In a scifi desert at the moment. Do you have any recommendations to tide me over?

  96. Chris says:

    Try Dream London, by my friend Tony Ballantyne.

  97. Cory says:

    Just finished the book and put it down. Well done! I will preorder the sequel.

  98. Chris says:

    Excellent. Thanks.

  99. Cristina says:

    I just finished listening to the audiobook for Dark Eden. It was brilliant-brilliant! I am so happy to see that you’re working on a sequel, only sad-sad that it won’t come out until November! (Just in time for my birthday, so I guess there’s some good there.) I see that some of the posts are from teen readers. I should mention that I am woman in my fifties…so it works for all ages. Thank you for the entertainment!

  100. Chris says:

    Thanks Cristina. I am working on Mother of Eden right at this moment.

    I’m very pleased you enjoyed the book. I’m in my fifties myself, and didn’t specifically aim Dark Eden at YA readers, or indeed any particular age group, and it pleases me very much that people of like it seem to come from across the whole age range.

  101. Katie says:

    Hi Chris. I just wanted to say I’m not a big sf reader and stumbled upon Dark Eden after reading the guardians recommended book list. I started it before I had my son and had a break from it when he decided to come a month early! He’s now 13weeks old and I started to start it again. It was completely engrossing! I read it during every nap time and feed he had and Was devastated when it finished!! It was one of the best books I’ve read and I felt totally immersed in this strange world! Since finishing it I’ve been searching the internet to find out about the sequel and have read some of the serialised second book. Thankyou for writing such an original book and now I feel lost at 4am without Eden to keep me company!!

  102. Chris says:

    I’m very pleased you liked it so much Katie. Mother of Eden out in November. It’s changed massively since that early serialised version.

  103. Simon says:

    Gela’s Tits! Best book I’ve read in a long while. You’re the new age Fredrick Pohl. Your creation had brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. Can’t wait for the sequel! Best of luck.

  104. Chris says:

    Tom’s dick and Harry’s, Simon, that’s a nice message to receive at the end of a day. Thanks.

  105. Siara says:

    So November 2014 release for the UK… But what about in the States?

  106. jamie says:

    Fantastic! I love your world and I am thrilled that you have a sequel so close to publishing. I listened to the audio book and really enjoyed the narration I hope you use the same storyteller. Your mind is a wonderful realm thank you.

  107. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Jamie.

  108. Chris says:

    I don’t know yet I’m afraid!

  109. Lux Losey says:

    The book was great, I especially like the character Jeff Redlantern. I’m visually impaired my dad read me the book. A world where people can’t see properly (because of the dark) is an interesting concept and one I can relate to – using other senses. Just wanted to say how much I loved it – I just got the audiobook and can’t wait for the sequel. Best thing I have read in ages – full of amazing ideas it reminded me of Ridley Walker a bit.



  110. Chris says:

    That’s great Lux. I much appreciate you writing to tell me. Hope you like the next one too.

  111. Declan says:

    I am so excited for Mother of Eden, as Dark Eden is one of my favourite books. Looks like November will be a good month!

  112. Chris says:

    Thanks Declan!

  113. Pete says:

    Just finished book on hols, great read . The book really captures human nature. You can see all parts of our society in its infancy, how religions can be formed, how leaders can’t be lead, innovators will keep pushing forward even when the consequences can’t be predicted and the people that just don’t like change (which if we are honest is probably most of us ).
    If anyone can’t work out why we as a race of people keep fighting read this, the answer is there to see, sadly!
    Can’t wait to read next book. Problem you have is you know what they say about setting the bar to high big act to follow.

  114. Chris says:

    Thankyou Pete. Yes I am very aware of that ‘hard act to follow’ thing! But I am pleased with Mother of Eden. It’s a different kind of book from Dark Eden, but it’s got at least as much going on in it, and includes my best writing so far (I think) about the planet Eden itself. (I say so far, because I plan a third Eden book also.)

  115. Ben says:

    Thought this was a fabulous book that created a unique, vivid and memorable world and language. Looking forward to Mother of Eden. My wife is loving it and that’s an accolade as she rarely enjoys science fiction!

  116. Chris says:

    Thanks Ben. I certainly aspire to write books that non-SF as well as Sf readers would enjoy.

  117. russ cammeyer says:

    as a cpa working on my sept. and oct. tax season deadlines, I made the time to read Dark Eden. Actually once I started I could not stop. the only question I have is how does the family avoid seasonal affective disorder. This occurs during season changes especially winter due to a lack of sunlight. Not sure if this was mentioned due to the large number of posts. Can’t wait for the next of many installments

  118. Murray says:

    Hi Chris,

    I just finished the audiobook of Dark Eden and it was good good 😀 So thankyou! I have a question though, does the word “the” appear in your book anywhere at all? I noticed near the end it seems to be a forgotten word on Eden! A


  119. Kait M says:

    A book club I’m in got me to read your book and it was lucky lucky they did because it was bloody good good! I’ve just recently started watching Dr. Who and was laughing through all the British slang in Dark Eden, my thpughts being, “Why is everyone in space British?!” I have a confession to make, however; I didn’t start to love your book until I passed the halfway mark. There was even a point where I had to take a break from it and read something else (the scene with Bella and John was a trigger for me, and I’m sure may have been lifted from your experience as a social worker), but after that halfway mark I was in and on the edge of my seat! I LOVED the ending too, I’m only sad that I’ll have to meet new people in the sequel and say goodbye to John, Jeff, Gerry, Tina, Dix, and Susan Redlantern (I really liked her despite her small role). They were all so real, and I hated a number of them at one point or another, but that’s what made them seem so real, I think. Thanks for the great read, and I can hardly wait for the next Eden adventure!

  120. Chris says:

    I’m pleased you liked it in the end Kait. Susan Redlantern is one of my favourite characters also.

  121. Chris says:

    Glad you liked it Murray. They do use ‘the’ sometimes but less often than we do. The language of Eden is shaped by its early history, when there were only two adults and their kids. Little kids tend to drop ‘the’, and to double up adjectives for emphasis.

  122. Chris says:

    It’s interesting you mention that about seasonal affectgive disorder Russ, because only this morning I was wondering to myself how blind people avoid it. As to Eden, well, I’m not sure they do avoid it. It probably contributes to their prevailing sense that something is missing.

  123. Maciek says:

    Hello Chris
    I’m from Poland (forgive me bad english ;D) and I just wanted to say, that polish translate of “Dark Eden” from Wojciech Próchniewicz is just fantastic. That man makes your book looks good for readers in Poland.
    “Dark Eden” is brilliant book. I can’t wait for “Mother of Eden”

  124. Chris says:

    Thanks Maciek. Let’s hope that Mother of Eden is translated into Polish also.

  125. Bill Stokoe says:


    Just finished Dark Eden. Took me back to my school years and my first book I read and loved, The Lost World (Conan Doyle) and one that we were made to read The Lord of the Flies (William Golding) that was initially a chore but then gripped and became a favorite. Your story reminded me of both in different ways (DE never a chore).
    I am looking forward to the sequel (2005) just glad I read it lately so not that long to wait.

  126. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Bill. I’ve never actually read the Lost World, but I’m sure the Lord of the Flies was an influence on this book.

  127. dave says:

    fantastic ! twoz my first proper sci fi read (i usually read only horror) i finished Dark Eden last night, and here i am 1st thing in the morning checking online for a sequel …..lucky me …Gelas Ring …cant wait . many thanks !! new hairs !! love it .

  128. Chris says:

    Thanks Dave! The sequel is now called Mother of Eden. It’s at the proofreading stage right now.

  129. Dec says:

    Hi Chris, absolutely loved Dark Eden and am really looking forward to Mother of Eden. But as a kindle reader (yes I’m going to moan!) it’s a shame I can’t seem to pre order it.

  130. Chris says:

    So glad you liked the book, Dec. Sorry you can’t preorder the ebook, but on the plus side, you do know that how many people want it, it can’t possibly sell out!

  131. Pasi says:

    Hi Chris and greetings from Finland!

    Just finished the Dark Eden last night and it was amazing story. Looking forward to read more about Eden and the people out there.

  132. Chris says:

    Thanks Pasi. I don’t believe any reader from Finland has contacted me before!

  133. Todd says:

    Just finished Dark Eden. A refreshing sf read for presenting such an original world, realistic characters, and thoughtful stuff on serious topics like gender relations and technology.

    Usually I grit my teeth to arrive at the end of a book only to find I’ve been set up for a sequel. But I didn’t mind too much. I wondered where you were going near the end of the novel, and pondered if John would go back to offer himself as a sacrifice to David to ensure the safety of his people. But the big surprise was quite satisfying.

    Looking forward to the next novel.

  134. Chris says:

    Glad you liked it Todd. I can honestly say that the ending of Dark Eden was not a set-up for a sequel, because when I first wrote it, it ended like that, and I had no intention at that point of writing a sequel at all. I just like endings that leave things open!

  135. Morgan says:

    Hi Chris

    Will the UK Kindle release date be the same as the paperback? I just LOVED Dark Eden and can’t wait for the sequel.


  136. Chris says:

    As far as I know, Morgan! Very pleased you liked DE so much!

  137. will says:

    Hi Chris,
    Top work!, yes parallels with Lord of flies but in a good good way,yr day job maybe helped a bit with the dynamics? Really felt the fear of the unknown going off into snowy dark with them, must have been great to write.Loved the fact that no-one is black and white. Keep up the good work.

  138. Chris says:

    Thanks Will. You’re right, it was fun to write.

  139. Paul says:

    Hi Chris,
    I listened to the audio book of Dark Eden – a totally unplanned purchase – but it was good good good.
    I have found myself listening to it 3 times now in the last 5 months – sad eh! – but the team that read it really were fantastic and made it just come alive in a way that I found utterly mesmerizing.
    I am really going to be torn between buying Mother of Eden as soon as it comes out – or waiting for the audio book!

  140. Chris says:

    Thankyou Paul. I’ll pass your comments onto the team that did the audio recording. They worked very hard at it!

  141. Carl Bromwich says:

    Hi Chris

    I am looking forward to reading the follow up to Dark Eden which is definitely one of my all time favourite books, I read it in one session, I just couldn’t put it down. The only other book that I have read in one session and I highly recommend is The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko. It tells the story of an Ohio farm hand John Redburn who one day comes across his doppelgänger. He thinks at first that he must have had a twin brother, it turns out that his double has a machine that allows travel between alternate versions of the earth. It’s a wonderful sconce fiction love story with a twist. It won the Asmivos readers poll award in 2006.

  142. Chris says:

    Thanks Carl. I’ve not come across that book. I’ll check it out.

  143. Erin coon says:

    Greetings, Mr. Beckett,
    I just finished Dark Eden, and I must say, it is a wonderful book! I surely will have the world of Eden and it’s Starry Swirl, swirling around behind my eyes for some time! I love the complexity of the lore and the simplicity with which it is presented. Truly a good read, sir, and I await the next installment with bated breath. Thank you.

  144. Chris says:

    Many thanks Erin.

  145. alex says:

    What is the order of the dark Eden series

  146. Chris says:

    Do you mean the chronology?

    The short story ‘Dark Eden’ (you can find it in my collection The Turing Test) tells of how people came to Eden.

    The novel Dark Eden is about their descendants some 160 Earth years later.

    The novel Mother of Eden is another couple of Earth centuries on from Dark Eden.

    The third novel (title yet to be finalised) is later still. Watch this space for details.

  147. MJ Meyer says:

    Chris: I am only 1/4 of the way into Dark Eden and I am already obsessed with its themes and ideas. I am delighted to just now have found your website and gained knowledge that there is a sequel coming out this year. Please don’t stop writing these stories. I am thoroughly entertained and utterly fascinated.

  148. Chris says:

    Thanks so much Michael. It’s really nice to have this feedback. Yes, another book outside, and I’m currently working on a third and final book about Eden.

  149. Miles says:

    Hi Chris, I read Dark Eden a while back and was visiting the site to see how the sequel was coming along. Although I’ll have to wait a couple more months for it, I was delighted to discover you’d written a prequel in The Turing Test!! I’ve just downloaded it from Amazon and really looking forward to reading it, and the other short stories. Keep up the good work! Thanks, Miles

  150. Chris says:

    Thanks very much Miles.

  151. Siara says:

    Over a year of waiting for Mother of Eden, and done with it in under a week! LOL!

    I must say, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting… But I think now that it follows Dark Eden nicely. My only quibble is with that final chapter. I quite sincerely want to punch Lucy and/or Chief Dixon in the face. Part of me would really enjoy Earth people showing up soon after the events of the novel, led by a woman, to put those two in their place!

  152. Chris says:

    Well, I thought it would be a bit different to end with them, Siara, but I wasn’t asking the reader to agree with their point of view!

  153. Kimberly says:

    Chris! I finished Mother of Eden tonight and I loved it! I am completely obsessed with this world you have created. I am a librarian and recommended Dark Eden to one of our SF-loving patrons who charged up to the desk today to tell me how much he loved it. He read it in just a few days and is already halfway through Mother of Eden–he wanted to know when the third one comes out! I was so excited when I saw that you are working on yet another book in this series. I can’t wait to find out what happens next…I’m hoping Earth finally makes an appearance, but I’m sure I will be happy with whatever happens. Thanks for writing these wonderful books!

  154. Chris says:

    It’s really kind of you to give me this lovely feedback, Kimberly. As I’ve said before, writing is rather a solitary business, and it is tremendously encouraging to receive these sort of messages from the outside world. Yes, I’m working on a 3rd Eden novel. I don’t know when it will be out yet, but I’m guessing probably next year.

  155. Siara says:

    Oh, I’m not saying it was in any way wrong to end with them! They just happen to be despicable people, and it chafes to have them not get their comeuppance. *Fingers crossed for next book* :)

  156. Paul says:

    Chris – I just finished Dark Eden, and loved it! I don’t think another book has moved me to post a comment on the Author’s website. You really weaved a great tale and painted a wonderful picture in my mind of what this world looked and felt like. Now I am getting ready to dig into Mother of Eden. It would not be surprising to see this series produce a lot of quality fan fiction like the Hugh Howey’s Silo series did.
    Outstanding – Thank you for investing years of your life to give me a month of very enjoyable reading!

  157. Chris says:

    Very kind of you to give me this feedback, Paul. It’s what keeps me going!

  158. MJ Meyer says:

    Chris: Me again. I’m back at your website after having finished Dark Eden earlier this year and now being 1/4 of the way through Mother Of Eden. Again, I’m so eagerly drinking in the world and ideas of Eden that news of a third novel in the works has filled me with great excitement. Are there any novels you’ve read that inspired The Dark Eden series? I’m trying to find something similar to line up for reading once I’m finished Mother of Eden and missing its fascinating premise and enlightening reflections on humanity. I am recommending the world of Eden to any of my friends who I think will appreciate it. I’m also curious about Starlight’s comments that all the inhabitants of Eden share the same “pale brown” skin. I’m no geneticist but wouldn’t some if the recessive genes of both Angela and Tommy have resulted in some of Eden’s population having varied degrees or pale or dark skin tones? If Snowleopard can have bright blue eyes, wouldn’t other variables exist among Edenites? I find these questions and ideas so fascinating!

  159. MJ Meyer says:

    PS: Apologies for the typos. I’m writing this on my iPhone and I have fat thumbs :)

  160. Chris says:

    I’m really pleased you are enjoying the book, Michael. Some novels that I see as having had an influence on my Eden books include William Golding’s Lord of the Flies (civilization gradually unravelling among a bunch of young boys marooned on an island), Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia Trilogy (wonderful intricate world-building involving a planet with two suns) and Russell Hoban’s Riddeley Walker (post-apocalyptic novel, where people have reverted to the iron age, and the dialect of South East England is well on the way to evolving into an entirely new language). As to the skin colour, well I’m no geneticist either, but I have a feeling you may be right that there would be more variation than I suggested there, or at any rate the occasional instance of very light or very dark skin, as there are the occasional instances of blue eyes.

  161. Chris says:

    I don’t know how anyone writes on those things at all!

  162. Bernd says:

    Hi Chris,

    I just finished Dark Eden and liked it so much that I looked for a possible sequel straight away. Quite happiely, I found, it’s already published. However, I would like to read it on my kindle, like the first book, but I can’t find it. Do you have any information, if and when Mother of Eden is going to ve available as kindle ebook?

  163. Chris says:

    Hello. Mother of Eden has temporarily been withdrawn from kindle because readers were experiencing problems with it (bits of missing text and stuff like that). The publishers are currently working with Amazon to resolve this, and it will be available again as soon as that’s sorted. I’m so pleased you enjoyed DE so much.

  164. Bernd says:

    Thank you for the very quick answer. Thats good news, I surly can wait a few days.

  165. Romain says:


    Do you have any idea when the French version of Mother of Eden will be released?
    Really enjoyed Dark Eden, although I would have loved it to be much longer and to continue when it ended :)

  166. Chris says:

    Hello Romain. So glad you enjoyed Dark Eden. I’m afraid I don’t know yet when the French version of MoE will be out. I’d guess next year.

  167. James says:

    The first book was astoundingly good. Just got the second and I’m afraid to start it. I have too much work to do and I know I won’t be able to put it down once I start.

    Great story Chris! I’ll share with my kids when they’re just a bit older.

    What about movie deals? The visuals of this dark world, if done right, could make for some impressive cinematography and CG.

  168. Chris says:

    Thanks very much James. Kind of you to get in touch. Yes, I’d love to see a movie of DE!

  169. Jeremy says:

    Hi Chris, I just read Dark Eden and Mother of Eden and thought the invention and thought that went into the societies you created were incredible. The genetic consequences of an entire civilisation emerging from a single couple are still there after 300/400 years. I’m looking forward to third book – I’m interested in whether Eden might “fight back” against the infiltrators and of course whether there’s a big starship sitting above the planet somewhere !

  170. Chris says:

    Well, a draft is with publishers now, Jeremy, so it’s on its way. Thanks for your kind comments about the first two books!

  171. Erik says:

    Chris – love your Eden books and excited to hear a 3rd is on the way! I would love for you to delve more deeply into the ecology of Eden. The details you drop here and there about the “plant” and “animal” life is fascinating. I would love to know more about where Eden is: far out in a solar system or spinning adrift in space. Also love the trees and the slinkers (and the leopards and spearfish…) and would love more detail about this ecosystem you’ve created.

  172. Chris says:

    Hello Erik, I had a lot of fun describing the life of Eden, I must say. As to where Eden is: it’s a rogue planet (, adrift in space on its own. In fact it is even outside the main disc of the Milky Way, slowly orbitting the galaxy (to which it would appear to me to be tidally locked, since the galaxy remains in a fixed position in the sky: though not being an astronomer I don’t know if this is the actual exlanation!) Many thanks for your kind feedback.

  173. Kris says:

    Just finished Mother of Eden, superb stuff. Can’t wait for the third, will we learn more of Starlight or will we jump a few more generations?

  174. Chris says:

    No, Daughter of Eden only jumps forward a decade or so. Starlight will appear in it, but is not the main character. Her friend Angie is the narrator and main protagonist of the whole book.

    Glad you enjoyed MoE, Kris.

  175. Bela says:

    Wow, I thought the first book was a masterpiece, but this one was AMAZING. I love that it focuses so much on the human condition, and perfectly shows humanity as just what it is, in all its beauty and ugliness. I never would’ve guessed when I first started reading Dark Eden how suited it would be to my taste (Humans and Humanity fascinate me more than anything). The main characters were also more enjoyable than those in the first book. I can’t wait for the third book to come out, and-hopefully-movies??? 😀

  176. Chris says:

    Thanks so much Bela. I try to show humanity as it is, and, like you, that’s what interests me most, humanity and its relationship with the world it finds itself inhabiting.

  177. Roman says:

    Hi Chris,
    I am Polish and I love sci-fi since I am 10 maybe? (which was good 35 years ago). I have to say that The Dark Eden was one of the best and most innovative book I have ever read. This was absolutely fresh view for whole sic-fi world, and in general fantastic book about us, humans. I could write a lot of flattering things more, but I won’t. I have to say that Polish translation was particularry good and allow us, readers catch all the nuances of this very specific language used in the book, I believe it was very faithful.
    Could you say, more specifically when can we expect second part in Poland ? is there already fixed release date ?

  178. Chris says:

    Hello Roman, Thanks so much for your kind words about Dark Eden and its Polish translation. I have no information about the Polish release of Mother of Eden, I’m afraid. The best thing would probably be to contact the Polish publisher.

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