Landscape of Darkness

Landscape of Darkness is an illustrated novelette in the manner of the old-style space operas from the 1940’s. But it’s more than an adventure tale of rocket ships and space cops, it’s about the future. It’s about our future. In 2017-2018, we’re seeing the beginning of a dystopian world, a horrific, inhumane place drained of resources and run by wealthy despots. It’s a story-line that’s been pushed on us for more than 100 years. But it’s only one possible future of billions. In Landscape of Darkness mankind once faced a crossroads as we do today. The path they took, and one that we can take also, leads to a brighter future.

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A fantastical journey through space and heart. One of the author’s greatest strengths is her ability to connect the reader with the hero, Sam Mercury, in such a quick and sincere way. I typically hesitate to read novellas, or other short-form literary works because I fear that the experience will feel too temporary. My experience with Landscape of Darkness feels leagues away from that notion. As I would with any great cast of characters, I want to know more, but I was not left wanting in a way I would have otherwise expected. I highly recommend this book. It is nuanced in a way that calls me to reread it sooner than later – as only the best books do.” – Emma Sloan

Right out of the pulp magazines of the 1930s & ‘40s, the author spins her tale of space opera as if she was writing for Amazing Stories in its heyday. …This was so much fun. I had to stop and check every so often to make sure I wasn’t reading a Captain Future yarn. Landscape of Darkness is a throwback to the glory days of the pulps, and the author’s writing shines as a fresh new face in an old formula. If you love space opera like I do, you’ll love this wild tale of adventure as mankind reaches outward to the stars while trying to save the human race from machines – the Cyborgs! Highly recommended.” Tom Johnson

“When do we get the next one?!? This novella feels like it should be found between the covers of Astounding Science Fiction! It hearkens back to the age of interstellar adventures and larger than life heroes, and the characters would make Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs proud. Sara Light-Waller’s take on AI is an interesting commentary on our current rise of AI and has elements of Frank Herbert’s Butlerian Jihad. This is definitely a must read and I can’t wait for more!” — Eugenie Graf

Gripping creative science fiction story. I thoroughly enjoyed this novelette by Sara Light-Waller. It transformed me into a time and place far away. I found it gripping and did not put it down till I reached the end. It was creative and forward thinking. I hope she makes a habit or writing these as I cannot wait for the next one. — MML

“Five Stars for “Landscape of Darkness!” You rock! At the age of 9 or 10 I got addicted to sci-fi pulp, which I’d read under the sheets, with a flashlight. Very evocative of those times. A very good read!” — William Robert Smith

Golden-Age Science Fiction is alive and well! This is pure Golden-Age science fiction at its best. Landscape of Darkness recalls the escapades of Captain Future and other Pulp heroes of a gone by age. If you enjoy the pulp SF you will enjoy this book, I did.” Thomas M. Britz

I just finished reading Landscape of Darkness, I couldn’t put it down!” — Anne Robins

“A ‘new old-pulp-style’ SF novelette! Different, fun, and a really good read! Recommended!” — Paula Gill

Cheers – your book was great! – Carole Williams

Book Sample

The cargo ship from Terra arrived late, and port haulers hasten to unload her before the scheduled storm. Sam Mercury wonders if he should call weather control and demand a delay. It’s early afternoon. Through the long horizontal windows he surveys the landing field, where tri-fin rockets stab upwards and bulky cigar-shaped craft recline on launch cradles on the tarmac. His eyes rise automatically to the graceful skyline of Neohatten beyond…

Read more of the sample chapters here. 

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The Story Behind The Story

When I started this book I had no idea what it would become. It began as an exercise in page design and rapidly became something very different. Discover more here.