Mother of Eden

“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


186 thoughts on “Mother of Eden”

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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..!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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,


  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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 🙂

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

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

    Greeteings from Poland

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

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

  25. 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.

  26. Chris,

    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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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…

  29. 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!

  30. 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.


    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?

  32. Chris,
    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!

  33. 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.

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