2017 Winner of the Sunburst Award Society's Copper Cylinder Adult Award
2017 Canada Reads Finalist
2017 Locus Award Finalist for Science Fiction Novel Category
2017 Sunburst Award Finalist for Adult Fiction
2017 Aurora Awards Finalist for Best Novel
Madeline Ashby's Company Town is a brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.
"Elegant, cruel, and brutally perfect, Company Town is a prize of a novel." —Mira Grant, New York Times Bestselling and Hugo-Award nominated author of the Newsflesh series
New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.
Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig—making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?
Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be—but now, the danger is personal.
About the author
Madeline Ashby grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. She graduated from a Jesuit university in 2005, after having written a departmental thesis on science fiction. After meeting Ursula K. LeGuin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she deciDed to start writing science fiction stories. While immigrating to Canada from the United States in 2006 , she could not work or study and joined the Cecil Street Irregulars – a genre writers’ workshop founded by Judith Merril – instead. Since then she has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. She has a masters degree in Manga and Anime and writes on such matters for i09, Tor.com and BoingBoing. Currently she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto.
- Short-listed, Locus Awards - Nominee
"A thrilling near-future noir mystery....A fascinating book from a writer with great vision." —Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels series
“Smart, weird dystopia.” —Margaret Atwood
"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein.... Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." —Locus
"This is brave, bold, crazy storytelling at the edge and doesn't read like anything else I've seen up or down the pike." —Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Aftermath
"A brilliant and chilling look at our post-oil future. I haven't been this hooked by an SF novel for ages." —Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files series
"Loved Company Town, Madeline Ashby’s wonderfully imaginative new sci-fi mystery with a fascinating female protagonist." —Feminist Frequency
"The world is an updated version of Raymond Chandler's, with gray morals and broken characters, and Hwa's internal monologue has just the right balance of introspection and wit...[a] very solid page-turner." —Publishers Weekly
"A fascinating mix of detective noir and near-future SF with cinematic world building and a broken, but resilient, unquestionably badass heroine." —Booklist
"Ashby's action scenes come thick and fast...the ideas, setting and relationships that make the story really worth reading." —New Zealand Herald