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The Race by Nina Allan

The Race

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Highly Recommended.

This is a subtle but telling SF novel that will speak loudly to fans of Margaret Atwood and Emily St. John Mandel. Allan’s future Britain is a low-key and unexpected dystopia and is all the more believable and gripping for that. We are in a Kent of poisoned marshes and derelict industry, where families exist on the proceeds of various black economies (Allan’s deft and sinuous landscape writing reminded me of Swift’s Waterland). A world where London is as distant as our present. A world where genetically modified greyhounds, linked biometrically to their human “runners”, race for a top prize of ten thousand shillings. It is this prize that draws our narrator, Christy, into a plot that has consequences that will reach far beyond our world.

Christy is a wonderful creation. Allan’s warmth and intelligence suffuses the portrayal of her strengths and her fears but it is the offhand brilliance of Allan’s creation of this odd but very real future that provides the chief charm of this novel. I’ve never read an SF future like it and its for that reason that it feels the most real – Allan resists the obvious at every turn and that’s when prediction is most alive. The Race depicts an unusual and messy future and therefore speaks loudly about the messy present we are living in. There’s no escapism in this novel but there is much to reward your faith in humanity. ~ Simon Spanton


The Race by Nina Allan

A child is kidnapped with consequences that extend across worlds...A writer reaches into the past to discover the truth about a possible murder...Far away a young woman prepares for her mysterious future...In a future scarred by fracking and ecological collapse, Jenna Hoolman's world is dominated by illegal smartdog racing: greyhounds genetically modified with human DNA. When her young niece goes missing that world implodes...Christy's life is dominated by fear of her brother, a man she knows capable of monstrous acts and suspects of hiding even darker ones. Desperate to learn the truth she contacts Alex, who has his own demons to fight...And Maree, a young woman undertaking a journey that will change her world forever.


'Totally assured - this is a literate, intelligent, gorgeously human and superbly strange SF novel that will continually skewer your assumptions.' - Alastair Reynolds, on The Race

About the Author

Nina Allan has won the BSFA Award for Short Fiction, the prestigious Grand Prix de l'lmaginaire, and the Aeon Award. She has been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award four times and was a finalist for the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award. The Race is her first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th July 2016


Nina Allan

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Titan Books Ltd


400 pages


Science Fiction
eBook Favourites

Science fiction



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