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. 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!!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.



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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.)

  11. 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!

  12. chris
    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

  13. 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


  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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”

  18. Chris,

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 .

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

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

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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

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