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Hurricane Moon

Alexis Glynn Latner

415 pp • ISBN: 978-1-59102-545-0
Trade Paperback (6" x 9") • $17
July 2007
Cover Illustration and Design:
©Brian W. Dow

In the late twenty-first century, earth is wracked by political and ecological crises, and the Aeon Foundation launches a starship to find a new world and found a new civilization, with all the advances of science and without the mistakes made on earth. Catharin Gault is the idealistic astronaut-physician in Aeon’s primary crew. Along with the rest of the crew and passenger-colonists, she goes into stasis—cold suspended animation—for the long journey across the stars, their collective fate surrendered to the ship’s artificial intelligence.

Things go amiss even before the new world’s beginning. Programmed to search for a planet with a large moon (the only way to guarantee stable seasons, tides, and an earthlike ecosystem after terraforming), the ship takes far too long, then finds a destination better than Catharin ever dared hope for: two earth-sized planets locked in orbit around each other. The one dubbed “Planet Green” has abundant plant life and a paucity of large animals. “Planet Blue” is an oceanic world covered with hurricanes. Several things about Blue baffle Aeon’s planetary scientists. To everyone else, it’s simply a big, blue moon.

Revived from stasis more than a thousand years after the starship left earth, Catharin makes a horrible discovery. The long stasis damaged the complex organic molecules in human bodies. Unless the human genome can be repaired, there will be no future on idyllic Planet Green.

Aeon has tremendous biomedical resources, but Catharin needs more. She needs a genetic miracle-worker—and she has one. She revives Joseph Devreze: a uniquely talented molecular biologist and maddeningly irresponsible genius. A crown prince of the science of his century, Devreze made a terrible mistake, followed a seductive line of research too far, and made one powerful enemy too many. In a trap of his own unwitting making, he saw only one way out: escape to the other side of the stars. Now, Catharin must rely on this untrustworthy maverick to help her save humanity on Green. Their mutual attraction ratchets up as their conflict with each other escalates. Together Catharin and Joe must decide how they can face, and embrace, a future utterly at odds with the Foundation’s plans and their own expectations.

And all the while the mystery of the Hurricane Moon looms over them.


"I think I shall keep watching Latner grow as a writer in order to see how she models our culture and our past. This is what good writing can do."
The New York Review of Science Fiction

"Hurricane Moon is a compelling work that creates believable worlds informed by hard science but populated with credible characters who aren't just mouthpieces
for technological wizardry….[Latner] weaves a complex story about how alien a new world can be. Mixed with these highbrow thoughts is some good old action as the planet does its best to kill inattentive settlers. By the end of the book,
both the science and the spirit are joined in a union that is strong and dynamic....
a resonant achievement."
—Washington Post

"Love flourishes amid technical puzzles and planetary mysteries in Latner's strong debut, which offers a healthy dose of the sciences - astronomy, physics, geology, biology - along with an intriguing cast of characters.... Well-known for her hard SF short fiction, Latner should win new readers with this fine first novel."
—Publishers Weekly

"Space enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the detailed descriptions of the workings of the starship, the explanations of astronomical phenomena, and the imaginative alien environment created by the author….for those of us entertained by contemplating starship designs, planetary choice criteria, and biological considerations, this book has it all. But the book is also a great read for those who enjoy science fiction about people making choices based on the kind of world and future they want to build for themselves…I highly recommend Hurricane Moon to anyone who wants to imagine life on another world. I look forward to more books by this very talented new author!"
—National Space Society

"I've been reading short stories by Latner for about ten years now, almost all of them in Analog, and have found her to be a reliable source of interesting and accessible stories of hard science fiction. At long last we have a chance to read her at novel length, and it was worth the wait, although I hope we don't have to wait as long for her next. It's an old fashioned space adventure, but with more contemporary sensibilities and healthy doses of intelligent and not too abstruse science.... Extremely well written, tightly plotted, full of that old fashioned sense of wonder about the universe. I hope to see much more from this author in the future."
—Don D'Ammassa, Critical Mass

"Alexis Glynn Latner consistently delivers a rare and tasty blend of science, technology, and all the other aspects of humanity."
—Stanley Schmidt, Editor, Analog Science Fiction and Fact

"Latner brings a powerful new voice to SF —
the perfect blend of humanity and science."
—Robert A. Metzger, Author of Picoverse and CUSP

Alexis Glynn Latner

Alexis Glynn Latner’s novelettes and short stories have been published in science fiction magazines, including Analog, and horror anthologies, including Bending the Landscape: Horror. In an analysis done in 2005, she is the seventh most published woman fiction author in the 75-year history of Analog Science Fiction & Fact magazine, originally called Astounding Stories. Her short story “Kindred” in Bending the Landscape won the 2002 Spectrum Award for short fiction. She is the South-Central Regional Director of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Besides speculative fiction, she writes magazine articles about science, technology, and aviation, does editing, teaches and coaches creative writing, and works in the Rice University Library.

Visit Alexis Glynn Latner at

Photograph: © Gene Stansbery