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Bright of the Sky
Kay Kenyon
Pyr, 480 pages

Bright of the Sky
Kay Kenyon
Kay Kenyon was raised in Duluth, Minnesota. She began working as a radio/TV copywriter for a local television station where she also did a weather show. Now, with several partners, she runs a transportation consulting firm, Mirai Associates. She and her husband recently moved to Wenatchee, Washington.

Kay Kenyon Website
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Tropic Of Creation

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Greg L. Johnson

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Kay Kenyon's career as a science fiction writer has been solid, if unspectacular. Her books have sold a decent amount, graduating from paperback to hardcover, and have been nominated for, but not yet received, a couple of awards. That is all about to change. Bright of the Sky is a star-maker, a magnificent book that should establish its author's reputation as among the very best in the field today. Deservedly so, because it's that good.

When a physics experiment with anomalous results drives an AI insane, the door is opened to the possibility that Titus Quinn may not be crazy after all. Quinn had disappeared with his family, in a spaceship, only to found later, his wife and daughter missing, and little memory of what had happened to him. Convinced he had been gone for years, tests showed he was the same age as when he left.

Quinn had actually broken through to the Bright, a universe parallel to ours, inhabited by many species and ruled by the Tarig. He is sent back, and as he re-learns the language, his memory returns. His daughter is alive but enslaved, his wife dead.

This is a barest bones description of the depth and breadth of this terrific novel. Quinn's quest to free his daughter is quickly compromised and complicated by politics and adversaries alien and human. The Bright itself is a classic piece of world-making, a manufactured universe in the shape of an immense river-valley, contiguous in scope with our own. And Kenyon has created a culture for the Bright that is every bit as strange and alluring as the world it occupies. The Tarig, who rule it all, are powerful, smart, unchallenged in their universe, and dangerous.

Bright of the Sky is the first in a series, no doubt there are plenty of complications to come, and more secrets to be unveiled. For now, it's enough to know that Quinn's actions are complicated not only by the Tarig. but also by the corporation he and his brother work for. The people of the Bright have long feared discovery by the people of Earth, there is some justification for their fear.

For readers of science fiction, it should be enough to know this: here is another of those grand worlds whose mere idea invites us in to share in the wonder. Bright of the Sky enchants on the scale of your first encounter with the world inside of Rama, or the immense history behind the deserts of Dune, or the unbridled audacity of Riverworld. It's an enormous stage demanding a grand story and, so far, Kenyon is telling it with style and substance. The characters are as solid as the world they live in, and Kenyon's prose sweeps you up and never lets go. On its own, Bright of the Sky could very well be the book of the year. If the rest of the series measures up, it will be one for the ages.

Copyright © 2007 by Greg L. Johnson

In case you couldn't tell, reviewer Greg L Johnson kind of liked this one. His reviews also appear in the The New York Review of Science Fiction.


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