Adam Rakunas

Windswept

Angry Robot 2015

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in LiteratureNew Books in Science FictionNew Books Network April 27, 2016 Rob Wolf

Padma Mehta, the hero of Adam Rakunas’ Philip K. Dick Award-nominated novel Windswept, is part Philip Marlow, part Norma Rae, part Jessica Jones. Theres...

Padma Mehta, the hero of Adam Rakunas’ Philip K. Dick Award-nominated novel Windswept, is part Philip Marlow, part Norma Rae, part Jessica Jones.

Theres no question that Mehta needs the skills of a union leader, noirish sleuth and action hero. Without them, how could she manage both the day-to-day machinations of helping run a blue-collar planet and simultaneously battle an interstellar corporate conspiracy?

Windswept is a fun book, full of action, plot twists and humor. But that doesn’t mean it shies away from grappling with important issues, including a looming environmental disaster — specifically a crop-killing plague that threatens to destroy the monoculture crop that the entire universe depends on.

Just as Mehta jumped through numerous hoops to save her world, so did Rakunas to get Windswept published. After working on the novel for several years, he sent the manuscript to 65 agents, and was rejected by 64 of them. The wisdom of the 65th to take him on was vindicated this past January, when Windswept was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. Although it didn’t win top honors (which went to Ramez Nam, who will be featured in the next New Books in Science Fiction podcast), Rakunas is well on his way to establishing himself as a science fiction writer with a unique voice and vision.

Windswept‘s sequel, Like a Boss, will be published June 7.


Rob Wolf is the author of The Alternate Universe and The Escape. He worked for many years as a journalist, writing on a wide range of topics from science to justice reform, and now serves as director of communications for a think tank in New York City. He blogs at Rob Wolf Books and I Saw it Today. Follow him on Twitter: @robwolfbooks.

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