The sequel to Dark Eden

Several people have asked me if Dark Eden is to have sequels.   I actually have ideas for two sequels.   The first of the two is set several generations on from the events in Dark Eden, in the new, larger, but more violent and more stratified world brought into being by the events in that book.

It’s currently appearing online in the magazine Aethernet, in 12 monthly installments, under the title Gela’s Ring.  It will also be published in book form by Corvus in 2014, under the title Mother of Eden.  I anticipate that the book version will be quite different in a number of ways from the serialised version.

As to the third book in the series, well, we’ll see.

49 thoughts on “The sequel to Dark Eden”

  1. Great news, Chris. I hugely enjoyed Dark Eden – the mood, the voice, the strange world and culture.

    Publishing that way sounds like a good idea to me, and interesting from a writing point of view too.

  2. I’m very pleased you liked it David. I hoping tht Gela’s Ring will be its own book with a different feel, but at the same time part of that same world.

  3. Please publish this at some point, otherwise I’ll never get to read it.
    I loved Dark Eden

    And no, I won’t buy a kindle or a tablet, and reading a book from a phone is just stupid.

  4. I’m a bit like you Alberto (although I do have a kindle): I won’t really feel that the book is properly published until it is in a proper printed book. So it will come out in book form, someway or another, I’m confident, but you may have a bit of a wait for it. Anyway, I’m pleased that you want to read it.

  5. Really enjoyed Dark Eden. Furthering the story will be good.

    Brave to publish in chunks – no opportunities for re-writes!

  6. Will they have Neolithic era technology in this one, since John was interested in (re)developing carts at the end of Dark Eden. Once you have wheels and running water, using mechanical energy to, say, grinding flour doesn’t seem too big a leap… also, will monogamy have taken off by that point? John seemed interested in it, and if the next generation adopted monogamous relationships, they could start reducing the prevalence of Batface in the population…

    Although, I’m surprised it’s going to take place several generations since Dark Eden; I was expecting it to be set one or two generations hence, and involve their little group entering the “Promised Land” after 40 years wandering in the desert, continuing the Biblical theme. Plus, I wanted to see what Star would be up to…

  7. The technology will be a little more advanced, yes, and the social structures will be more complex and varied. I set it a little way ahead because what I am most interested in writing about is the way that societies evolve and change, and in particular the way that people adapt stories from the past to meet their needs in the present. So I wanted the story of Dark Eden to be far enough in the past to became a source of myth, just as the story of the original discovery of Eden had become a kind of myth in the world of Dark Eden itself. Monogamy? Less batfaces? Well, suffice to say that the largest societies of Eden will be very much under the rule of men. I guess the advantage of monogamy from a male point of view is that you can tell who your own children are.

    Thanks very much for your interest.

  8. Thanks for a great read – … the focus on myths and “broken telephone” – how things through retelling take on a life of their own – its organic with undefined boundaries.

    I will be very keen, keen to see how this theme evolves another 6,10,20 generations later on in the series.

    I appreciate, appreciate that you don’t overwrite (sincerely) but also hope that the next instalment (once in hard copy) will be just a little longer.

    ……interesting carryover from the past – “Juice” and Jesus – not sure what I make of it though? Is there a conceptual suggestion within this of assigning blame to the Jews for the crucifixion of Christ… to comment?

  9. Many thanks for these comments, and I’m very pleased you enjoyed Dark Eden. I’m working on Gela’s Ring right now. As planned it will be a similar length to DE, but who knows?

    The Jesus/Juice thing: I simply wanted to show how these older stories, no long particularly relevant on Eden, were getting jumbled up by the passing of time like flotsam on a beach. The story of the 20th century holocaust, and first century claims for Jesus as king of the jews, seem to us to be obviously distinct, but from an Eden perspective not necessarily so. I suppose there was a thought in the back of my mind that David’s desire to tie Juicy John to a spiketree, ‘like Hitler did to Jesus’ was appropriate to John’s idea of himself as a sort of messiah.

  10. I loved Dark Eden and am intrigued as to how the story progresses especially if John Redlantern’s story is now the legend which has been passed down. I’m also intrigued as to how the genetic legacy progresses. I’m a little bit worried that that third novel title gives the game away. I’m also glad that I found The Turing Test short story collection, as I was going to ask for a prequel to tell Angela’s story.

  11. Thanks very much Eddie. Working on that sequel now. Not sure how you are interpreting the title of the third novel but I can see several different possibilities! Anyway, my lips are sealed! All best.

  12. I won’t expand on my thoughts about the third novel’s title – my lips are now sealed too, but I’m also intrigued about the possiblities of the humans exploitation of the flora/fauna of their planet, I’m thinking of the Yilane’s adaptation of many different species in Harry Harrison’s West of Eden books.

    I’ll subscribe as soon as you publish details.

  13. I’ve just finished Dark Eden, having decided to buy it after reading about the book winning the Arthur C Clarke award in The Guardian about a month ago. I thought it was excellent. Well done Mr. Beckett, a very well deserved award. Science fiction at its very best. Congratulations, and may it be the first of many well deserved awards! I eagerly await the sequel.

  14. I really enjoyed dark eden. I see it more as a thought experiment in anthropology/sociology than science fiction though, was this your intent?

    Am also interests in your view of women in society, do you see
    moves towards monogomy, patriarchy, property rights, trade and then economic growth as being instrinically linked?

  15. Hello Amanda. I’m really glad you enjoyed the book. Certainly, I see it as a thought experiment in anthropology/sociology, but that’s exactly what a lot of science fiction is. (Look at Le Guin for instance, or James Tiptree.)

    As to my view of women in society. A couple of reviewers have criticised me for ‘essentialism’. That is: they’ve accused me of promulgating the idea that men and women are doomed to follow biologically ordained roles. One reader has also accused me of misandry (man-hating) for suggesting that it is men who bring evil into the world. Neither of these are messages I intended to give.

    But my gut feeling when writing the book was that, at the particular point in their history described in this book, men would gain the edge on women in terms of political power. Up to that point there’d been no clear-cut division between the roles of men and women, other than the ones imposed by biology (women get pregnant and breast-feed babies, men don’t), but women had assumed more of a leadership role in what wasn’t so much fully-fledged society as an overgrown family unit.

    At the time of the story, as this family unit begins to fracture, and tensions and competition between factions begin to appear, men’s biological characteristics would start, I thought, to give them an advantage. Those characteristics I think include physical strength, not being encumbered by getting pregnant or nursing babies, and also, (more controversially perhaps) a somewhat higher tendency to aggressive competition. There must been some reason, I reasoned, why historically men did got the upper hand in every society on Earth, even societies that evolved seperately for tens of thousands of years. It can’t all have been one massive coincidence.

    And yes, I see things like monogamy, property rights and trade (and also warfare, organised religion and social stratification) as sort of expanding out from there, something which will be explored further in the sequel.

    That isn’t to say, though, that I regard this outcome as being either desirable, or as fixed for all time. As Tina Spiketree says when she notices the shift of the power balance towards men, it looks like men are going to be in charge for this next bit.. This next bit. Not forever.

    For what it’s worth, my hunch is that as society becomes more sophisticated, the characteristics that gave the men the edge become progressively less important. However long a way there still is to travel, it seems quite clear to me, that the balance of power on Earth has been shifting towards something more equitable for quite some time.

    I see that trend continuing, providing we don’t stuff up the planet so badly that we revert (like the folk in Dark Eden) to some sort of stone age society in which more primitive forces come back into play.

  16. Hi, is it possible for you to tell us which online magazine this will be? I loved Dark Eden and I am very excited to read about what happens next! Excellent writing!

  17. It’s already coming out now in Aethernet. It will also come out in book form in the spring. The book will have a different title (Mother of Eden) and is likely to be quite substantially different from the serial form. Thanks for your interest, Gemma.

  18. Hi Chris. Dark Eden was great stuff. I gifted a bunch of copies too, just to help your royalty bottom line…

    Perhaps you have this in mind for the 3rd book, perhaps not, no need to comment really…What has come to my mind is how do these folk react when pan-Humanity DOES show up? Hostility? Wonder? And how does pan-Humanity view them? In need of saving? Curiosities? Had they been found in the Valley would they have been like the St. Kildans, removed “for their own good”…but neo-colonialist views of enforcing peace if they arrive in the middle of the First Eden War? What’s the reaction if it’s another single, lost crew? A war for their knowledge while new ideas rip them up internally? There are a thousand interesting ideas to explore in what you’ve created. You don’t need to write these (other books have dealt with some of these themes, I know), they’ve just done gone and got me thinking.

  19. Thanks for these thoughts Kristian. I don’t really want to say anything about my ideas for future books, but it’s nice that you find the Eden setting a fertile ground for these sorts of thought experiments. So do I, I must say.

  20. Hi Chris I wondered is Dark Eden is on the dark side of a planet (like our moon) so if the inhabitants travel far enough in their world they will get to the light side. The part that is permanently in day light ?

  21. It’s been suggested before, Jon, and would be a great idea. What a great moment that would be when they discovered the sunlit side! Or I guess first the twilit region). But no, this is a rogue planet, an isolate. It has no sun at all.

  22. I listened to Dark Eden as an audiobook and found it to be particularly satisfying in that format due the use of POV storytelling. A few times I had to catch myself using some of the doubled adjectives of the book…LOL. Chris, your novel has inspired me in my own attempts to write, thank you.

  23. Those doubled adjectives seem to get people in a number of different ways Shawn. I’m really pleased you liked the book.

  24. Nearly there Shawn, though no publication date as yet. It’s taken longer than I orginally anticipated!

  25. Chris, I am starting a forum on Facebook where we will invite authors (such as yourself), scientists, industry and other interesting people in for a week or so to participate in a discussion about their craft. This will be a closed forum and I will retain the ability to screen questions. It will be a monthnor so before I have a large enough crowd to make it worth while, but would you be willing to participate as our first guest? All it would require is responding to posts like you have done here…

  26. Hi Chris

    Just to say, I finished Dark Eden about an hour ago. Would love a sequel!


  27. Hi Chris,

    Firstly I think it’s awesome that you reply to these. You see I was glancing over my book shelf and came across your book, remembering I had really enjoyed reading it a while back.

    Thought I would google search to see if a new sequel is out. Personally this is has made me real excited so I thought I would just say good job!

    P.s out of curiosity, what is your favorite book? (mine has to be Ender’s game, although I hear Orson Scott Card is quite racist which is a bummer).


  28. Thanks George.

    Hard to pick a single favourite novel, even if I just narrow it down to SF novels. It depends on my mood, really. But a couple of my perennial favourite SF novels are: Flow my tears, the policeman said (PKD: even the title is pretty great!) and The Space Merchants (Pohl and Kornbluth: see my comments here). Hope you enjoy Mother of Eden.

  29. Hi Chris, happy new year. I’ve just finished Dark Eden and found this page while looking for information on a sequel. I really enjoyed Dark Eden and can’t wait for more. The UK amazon store shows Mother of Eden with a release date of June this year. I hope everything is going well and on course for this to be true. I like your idea of the next book being years after the events of the first. keep up the good work!

  30. Thanks Jon. Happy New Year to you too. Yes, as far as I’m aware, we’re still on track for early June.

  31. Hi Chris, two very late nights here with your unputdownable book! Did you ever find it a disturbing experience delving into what would drive people in an “innocent” new world to rediscover evils like rape and murder? And (having spent 8 wombtimes there a long time ago), what’s your favourite Cambridge pub!?

  32. I wouldn’t say I found it disturbing exactly, Ian. Perhaps because there’s nothing in Eden that doesn’t have its counterpart – or worse – in the world we actually live in. But I am sometimes carried away by the emotions of the characters though, particularly when writing dialogue. Their sense of loss, in particular.

    Favourite pubs in Cambridge, well I have several, but I’m fond of the Pickerel opposite Magdalene College.

  33. I loved your first, Dark Eden. So happy to learn you have written more in this universe. I hope you are well and enjoying plenty of slips! 😀

  34. Greetings from Dublin. I have just finished the third novel of the Eden trilogy: some of the best science fiction I have read in a long time.

    I read all three books over the space of a fortnight, on my Kindle. As a Christian I was challenged, annoyed, stimulated and strangely encouraged by the fascinating exploration of our need for faith and meaning through stories. But it was also such a romping great adventure. A sequel to the sequel would be very exciting: Trueheart on Earth, evolving human cultures on Eden …

    Thank you

  35. Thankyou Donal. It’s lovely to have feedback like this, and I do appreciate you taking the trouble to write.

    No plans for more Eden novels at the moment, I’m afraid. I sometimes think an Eden-based short story collection would be fun, with stories from before, after and in between the novels.

  36. I have so many questions left unanswered by the book. Such a wonderful work with a fascinating world, I do hope you change your mind and further expand on the trilogy.

    Much admiration from Australia.

  37. Thank you very much Nicholas. I love that you would like still more of Eden! It’s wise to quit while you are ahead, though, and, for me at least, the conclusion of Daughter of Eden is a pretty satisfying place to end. But who knows? There are certainly other stories to be told. Maybe I will come back to it at some point.

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