My debut novel, A Calculated Life, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards. Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind is one of The Guardian’s best SFF books of 2015. Dreams Before the Start of Time, released this month, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
Dreams Before the Start of Time
Starred review from Publishers Weekly, “skillfully executed…personal and intimate”
“Anne Charnock’s third novel . . . showcases all that is most imaginative and forward-thinking in British science fiction right now.”
— NINA ALLAN , author of The Race.
In a near-future London, Millie Dack places her hand on her belly to feel her baby kick, resolute in her decision to be a single parent. Across town, her closest friend—a hungover Toni Munroe—steps into the shower and places her hand on a medic console. The diagnosis is devastating.
In this stunning, bittersweet family saga, Millie and Toni experience the aftershocks of human progress as their children and grandchildren embrace new ways of making babies. When infertility is a thing of the past, a man can create a child without a woman, a woman can create a child without a man, and artificial wombs eliminate the struggles of pregnancy. But what does it mean to be a parent? A child? A family?
Through a series of interconnected vignettes that spans five generations and three continents, this emotionally taut story explores the anxieties that arise when the science of fertility claims to deliver all the answers.
Paperback, Kindle eBook and Audiobook
Published by 47North. Cover art by David Drummond
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind
Included in The Guardian’s Best SFF Books of 2015
History is story telling
But some stories remain untold
In fifteenth-century Italy, Paolo Uccello recognizes the artistic talent of his young daughter, Antonia, and teaches her how to create a masterpiece. The girl composes a painting of her mother and inadvertently sparks an enduring mystery.
In the present day, a copyist painter receives a commission from a wealthy Chinese businessman to duplicate a Paolo Uccello painting. Together, the painter and his teenage daughter visit China, and in doing so they begin their escape from a tragic family past.
In the twenty-second century, a painting is discovered that’s rumoured to be the work of Paolo Uccello’s daughter. This reawakens an art historian’s dream of elevating Antonia Uccello, an artist ignored by history because of her gender.
Stories untold. Secrets uncovered
But maybe some mysteries should remain shrouded
Paperback, Kindle eBook and Audiobook
Published by 47North. Cover art by M S Corley
“Anne Charnock’s Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind (47North) is an expert braiding together of past, present and future that puts a 15th-century Italian female artist centre stage to say penetrating things about womanhood, creativity and history.” — Adam Roberts, The Guardian
“Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind is certainly one of 2015’s tip-top releases in science fiction.” — Jesse Hudson, Speculiction
“…this quiet, lovely and exquisitely crafted novel is itself a masterclass in composition… As in her debut novel A Calculated Life, the clarity and refined elegance of Charnock’s prose is a significant achievement.” — Nina Allan, The Spider’s House
“The feminist elements of Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind are elusively contradictory, so much like life!, making this one of those thinking books—the kind with embers smoldering until a second visit. I look forward to more from Anne Charnock.” — From Couch to Moon
“The centuries-spanning story gives the mystery an epic feel.” — Kirkus Reviews
A Calculated Life
Finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick and Kitschies Golden Tentacle Awards
Book Trailer by theBookDesigners
“Charnock is an astute observer herself, and what results is an inquiry into feminism and society that will make the reader truly pause to compare their own experiences and perceptions.”
Charnock’s dystopia is actually believable. It’s very like our own world, but slightly stretched at the edges—corporate interests reign unchecked, the class structure is rigid, and technology has taken us well beyond the limitations of our synapses and gray matter. Charnock is a subtle worldbuilder, but a convincing one..
Charnock has fascinating, complex things to say about work, sex, family and hope (and that pretty much covers it, don’t you think?)
Charnock’s novel is entirely and definitively her own. It is lovingly crafted, beautifully made in the economical, expert way a piece of Arts and Crafts furniture is made – pure lines, and perfectly suited to its intended purpose.
This is a story beautifully and simply narrated, the language economical but evocative, and it remains compelling without ever resorting to sensationalism. A coming-of-age tale exploring what it means to be human, it kept me gripped to the end.
This story puts us inside one of the most interesting perspectives I’ve encountered in recent fiction. Jayna’s perspective is so unique that I would happily have followed her anywhere, and, as a consequence, the cleverness of this plot almost snuck up on me. A smart, stylish, emotionally compelling book with literary richness and sci-fi smarts.
Gets the grey matter firing . . . Such easily accessible yet intelligent fiction can be quite a rarity, and one to be savored.
A Calculated Life, by Anne Charnock, is one of those books that while overtly science fiction is really a great insight into humanity today. Ultimately . . . this book is more about human emotion and intelligence than it is about the future: And it’s that exploration that makes this such a compelling work.