Lou has been told he is different to ‘normal’ people. He interacts with the world in a way they do not understand. He might not see the things they see, however, but he also sees many things they do not. Lou is autistic.
One of his skills is an ability to find patterns in data: extraordinary, complex, beautiful patterns that not even the most powerful computers can comprehend. The company he works for has made considerable sums of money from Lou’s work. But now they want Lou to change – to become ‘normal’ like themselves. And he must face the greatest challenge of his life. To understand the speed of dark.
SPEED OF DARK is a powerful near-future thriller, the theme of which is both universal and intensely personal. It is dedicated to the author’s own autistic son, and to other parents of autistic children, ‘in the hope that they also find that delight in difference’.
Here are just a few of the great reviews the novel has received, since it was first published in 2002…
‘Compelling […] a poignant earnestness that borders on the philosophical and showcases Moon’s gift for characterization […] will touch even the most jaded.’ — Publishers Weekly
‘Inevitably, THE SPEED OF DARK has been compared to Daniel Keyes’ classic and tragic Flowers for Algernon, in which a mentally disabled young man is medically enhanced to become a genius. THE SPEED OF DARK may be an even greater book […] it is [a] subtle, eerily nuanced character portrait of a man who is both unforgettable and unlike anyone else in fiction […] The end of THE SPEED OF DARK is not unexpected, but it is marvelous all the same, and exceptionally moving in its balance of loss and wonder […] It is a measure of Elizabeth Moon’s genius that she enables a reader to thoroughly experience the world through Lou’s tangled but exhilarating neurology, and wonder what we “normal” people are missing when we don’t acknowledge our connection to those who seem so different from us. A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; THE SPEED OF DARK actually does.’ — Washington Post
‘This poignant work, which won the 2004 Nebula prize for respected science-fiction author Elizabeth Moon […] will leave a deep impression upon the reader. The pages will make you hold your breath until the very last line.’ — Associated Press (France)
‘For those of you who are a bit shy of hardcore SF, one of your best bets is Elizabeth Moon. She’s been writing great science fiction for years […] a highly sensitive treatment of the world of an autistic man set in the not too distant future […] For people with autism, the world can be a very scary place, and Moon documents poignantly their battle to interact with a world of shapes, sounds and feelings that are strangers to them.’ — Times (UK)
‘A stunner. Not just for parents and friends of autistic individuals, not just for sf fans — THE SPEED OF DARK makes me remember why I love Moon for her ability to immerse me in the thought processes of a sympathetic, transparent protagonist.’ — The AV Club
‘A touching account. Well-written, intelligent, quite moving. Moon places the reader inside the world of an autistic and unflinchingly conveys the authenticity of his situation.’ — Kirkus (Starred Review)
‘Significant and evocative […] While the theme must have an enormous emotional charge for Elizabeth Moon, she does not forget she is a novelist.’ — Le Monde (France)
Zeno represents Elizabeth Moon in the UK and Commonwealth, on behalf of the JABberwocky Literary Agency in New York.