- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Orbit (31 January 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316389684
- ISBN-13: 978-0316389686
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,24,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Six Wakes Paperback – 31 Jan 2017
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"Six Wakes is [Mur Lafferty's] breakout book."―Cory Doctorow
"This is one of the cleverest and most exciting murder mysteries I have ever read. The confined space of the colony ship Dormire is filled with feisty and memorably strange characters who bounce off one another in ways that vary from the comic to the horrific. You like ideas in your science fiction? Lafferty does for clones what Asimov did for robots. Six Wakes will keep you turning pages right up to its startling climax. Mur Lafferty scores in this, her best book!"―James Patrick Kelly, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards
"Mysterious and tense . . . . I wish I wrote this book."―New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig
"A taut, nerve-tingling, interstellar murder mystery with a deeply human heart."―NPR
"An exquisitely crafted puzzle box that challenges our thoughts on what it means to be human - Six Wakes is a scifi murder mystery of light speed intensity."― New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler
"Lafferty keeps the reader guessing and throws in just enough twists and turns to keep us on the edge of our seat . . . . I loved this book and am excited to read what Lafftery has in store for us next."―Barnes & Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog
"Lafferty delivers a tense nail-biter of a story fueled by memorable characters and thoughtful worldbuilding. This space-based locked-room murder mystery explores complex technological and moral issues in a way that's certain to earn it a spot on award ballots."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Polished writing and a cast of characters who are emotionally on edge make this space adventure a compelling murder-mystery that takes its time revealing the details necessary for readers to rule out possible culprits. The suspense is kept at the forefront of this clever, politically charged tale."―RT Books Reviews
"Lafferty delivers the ultimate locked-room mystery combined with top-notch sf worldbuilding. The puzzle of who is responsible for the devastation on the ship keeps the pages turning."―Library Journal (starred review)
"This is a great book with so much going for it: clever structure, wonderful characters, and a fiendishly clever puzzle that you'll roll over in your mind for months after you close the covers."―BoingBoing
About the Author
Mur Lafferty is a writer, podcast producer, gamer, runner, and geek. She is the host of the podcast I Should Be Writing and the co-host of Ditch Diggers. She is the winner of the 2013 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She is addicted to computer games, Zombies, Run!, and Star Wars LEGO. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband and daughter.
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Mur Lafferty, an American author, has penned an intriguing science fiction thriller called, Six Wakes that centers around a spaceship carrying six crew members, where each one wakes up as a clone with no memory or record of what happened or who killed them, but only with the memory of dying. And as their bloody bodies floated around the space ship under zero gravity and with the ship's controlling AI being offline, the six crew members are pretty sure that someone amongst them must have killed them, but why? Set in the 25th century, this story is going to thrill the readers in a subtle manner.
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer -- before they kill again.
It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.
At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.
Maria's vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn't the only one to die recently.
Maria Arena is the first to wake up inside her cloning vat, only to be greeted by the sight of dead bodies, blood and everything floating around in zero gravity in the generation starship called, Dormire, carrying a cargo of six individuals to the planet of Artemis, with no memory of how she died or what happened since she and the others boarded the spaceship, only with the memories of her long time ago past. Eventually, one-by-one and after a long wait of their previous bodies' permanent death, Captain Katrina de la Cruz, pilot Akihiro Sato, security chief Wolfgang, engineer Paul Seurat, and Dr. Joanna Glass woke up to find themselves surrounded by the death and zero gravity and also with their ship's controlling artificial intelligence, IAN, being offline. Hence they have no idea how they all died or why or who killed, even though it is very obvious that the killer is in that ship and someone from the six passengers. And with no memory backup, the lives of the six individuals are doomed, so they must hurry and figure out the gory mystery behind their murders.
Although, I'm not much big of a fan of science fiction books, yet this book allured me, for being a thriller, (I'm a die hard thriller fan, be it of whatever or any kind) and also for the concept of cloning, which is my favorite sci-fi topic to explore. And Lafferty’s book not only covers both the things aptly but also intrigues all through out. (PS: For a seasoned crime fiction reader, it will be easy enough to predict the whodunit!) The author has explored and has introduced her readers with a world that allows multiple cloning until immortality but with lots of terms and conditions and strict laws, so that no one abuses the option of cloning.
The world building with the prospect of cloning and future advanced technology to preserve mankind is strikingly explained and depicted by the author into the story line. Although not believable, but somehow, the author has managed to make her readers find the honesty and logic behind such a superficial universe. A world where mankind can be exploited both with cloning and with corruption. Yes it was thrilling for me to experience such a make-believe future world.
The writing is strong and articulate and is laced with enough tension that will grip its readers and will keep them engaged till the very end. The narrative is not that engaging enough to peak the readers' interests, but with a fast pace and with zero technical jargon filled with lots of unforeseeable twists and turns, the plot will only become more and more intense. The mystery is tightly wrapped under layers and dimensions of backstories and twists and the edgy suspense is bound to make the readers anticipate till the very last page.
The characters are not only well developed but are also multi dimensional, which only makes them real and relatable in the eyes of the readers. There is a huge twist about the characters' real identity, and although some of the reviewers have shamelessly mentioned that, yet I would refrain myself from repeating it. And its the key thing that will compel the minds' of the readers with fear and tension. All the characters will intrigue in their own way and with their fatal psychological flaws, they will coil around the minds of the readers like a snake. The characters are the "cherry-on-the-top" of this book, they steal the complete show.
In a nutshell, this book is thoroughly engrossing and extremely captivating enough to keep the readers turning the pages of this book frantically.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As I mentioned, none of the characters is the type you can really feel for. The personalities on board go between psychotic to just generally abrasive to cowardly. I think the only reason you don’t hate them is that they’re all sort of blank slates at the beginning. By the time you start learning enough about them to dislike them, you’re already completely invested in Six Wakes.
By the time all the threads are starting to tie together, you’ve got to know how it ends. And it’s not a smooth ride. There’s the wicked web of intrigue, as well as various bouts of blood-letting, arguments, and insanity. There’s the ship and it’s journey, the fight for survival, and decisions to be made. Even if one of the plot threads doesn’t interest you much, the other will surely grab your attention.
I also liked Lafferty’s thoughts on how cloning would affect society in the future in Six Wakes. In her world, it rolls out much like it would in reality. Cloning is only available to the rich, there’s pushback for rights and religion, etc. The most interesting part, I thought, was the thought she put into inheritance rights and the natural separation of clones from family.
Normally by halfway through one of these types of novels, I know enough to spoil the end for myself. At seventy percent through Six Wakes, I was still completely clueless. Clueless and loving it. Six Wakes was 400 pages of confusion and mayhem that I utterly enjoyed. I didn’t even mind that there were several ‘origin’ chapters for the various characters involved. Then, on top of everything else, Mur Lafferty also made me perfectly satisfied with the ending, too! (A bit grossed out, but satisfied.)
This is definitely a must-read, and Mur Lafferty should go on your list of authors to pay attention to in the future. Well done all around.
Six Wakes is easily the best sci-fi I've read since Jurassic Park. The science is presented in a matter-of-fact way that's timely, feels plausible, and is obviously well-researched. The concept of the story is clever - by having a small group of people wake up in very confusing circumstances, they are forced to discuss their situation, and that allows the reader to learn about the world without obvious exposition.
Callbacks to the various crew members are well-placed/paced, and provide perfect background information and character development. They feel as if they each have their own story. They're flawed, but not unlikable. As you read, you can't help but form theories. Then you read more, and 'No! That can't work. But what about... Ahh, yes, that makes sense!' starts playing in your head.
The book is refreshingly clear of winks to the reader, inside jokes, or any obvious author indulgences. It's the work of a writer who is confident and experienced.
It is a stunningly good book.
I can't wait to read it again.
The setting is the star ship Dormire, which is carrying thousands of colonists from Earth to the planet Artemis in the Tau Ceti system. The crew is made up of six clones and an AI computer. One of the clones wakes up in a cloning vat (more on that in a bit as well) to find that her most recent self, as well as the rest of the recent selves of the crew, have been murdered. What also is evident is that everyone's memories of the trip so far have been wiped and the ship itself is slowly veering off course. To complete the mystery, the AI, IAN, is also malfunctioning. Whoever is responsible for the murder actually has the blood of six murders on their hands.
And thus we have the following problems: who committed the murders, why is IAN malfunctioning, why is the ship off course, and what is the motive behind all of this?
The novel starts out with the statement of the "International Law Regarding the Codicils to Govern the Existence of Clones". While essentially an infodump, and one to start off the novel rather than it appearing later on, the Codicils are important to the story and it's a good thing to have them right up front, as clones, cloning, and the ethics and morality of cloning are key elements in the story. Lafferty has done a nice bit of world building with these Codicils. It's not just the Codicils themselves, but how they came about that fits into the story.
It really is somewhat difficult to talk about a murder mystery without giving much away. The interesting thing about all clone crew members is that they are former criminals, and have been given their positions on the ship as a way of atoning for their crimes and, at the end of the journey, will get a fresh start on Artemis. The novel interweaves the present dilemma that the clones are attempting to solve with flashbacks for each character - sometimes multiple flashbacks - which gives the foundation for each character's behavior as well as providing clues as to What The Heck Is Going On and Why. We learn about each character's crime, what their motivations are, and how they got to be on the crew of the Dormire. Pile on top of that the fact that everyone is a clone - and that there are rules governing a clone's existence (which comes into play with one of the clones) - and you have quite the engaging and entertaining story.
I liked SIX WAKES, of that there is no doubt. It's a fast paced and complex murder mystery, made all the more interesting by the fact that not one of the characters on the ship is a standard human. Even IAN, the AI running the ship, has a very interesting story and background that plays an integral part of the story.
However...I'm not on the bandwagon that says this is an award-worthy book. I've said a lot of nice things about it over the course of the last few paragraphs, but it didn't strike that resonance with me that wants to give it an award. I've written many times of the last several years how I measure Hugo-worthiness, so I won't get into that here. I wouldn't mind if it won the Hugo - or Nebula, but as I write this it didn't win that award - it's just not what I'd put at the top (or near the top)
of my list.
There are a ton of science fiction murder mysteries that have been written over the decades, and this will go down as one of the better ones and one of the more inventive ones. I do recommend it.
Six Wakes starts with death, and life; clones and mystery. The crew of a generational starship must solve their own murders while coming to grips with their own pasts and the pasts of the others on board.
This is both one of the best science fiction novels and best mysteries I have read in years.