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What would you do to protect your family if the world stopped working?

Not long from now, in a recognisable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They've only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they're surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.

But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones - vital to the world, ever since the bees all died - are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.

A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city...

About the Author

Susannah Wise is an actor and writer who grew up in London and the Midlands. A childhood spent outdoors inspired her love of nature and tree climbing. The death of her father in 2015 was the catalyst for THIS FRAGILE EARTH. His preoccupation with astronomy and the beauty of the night sky formed the jumping-off point for the story. Susannah studied at the Faber Academy, graduating in September 2018, during which time she wrote a second, more peculiar novel. Both books have been longlisted for the Mslexia prize.
She lives in London with her partner and son.

Praise For…

A compulsive page turner . . . The science behind the author's dystopian vision of the future is impressive, but it's the movements of the heart that mark this book as a standout—Elspeth Sandys

A very British disaster epic. Echoes of John Wyndham. Resonances for today—Stephen Baxter

A remarkably original first novel, beautifully written, about a future that could be just around the corner—Julie Christie

Susannah Wise's first novel is a dystopian triumph: dark, compelling, and all too believable like an extended episode of Black Mirror, it reminds us of the power of love'—Saul David, author of Victoria's Wars

a fabulous, thoughtful, hugely original apocalyptic novel. Highly recommended—David Barnett, author of Calling Major Tom

This superbly accomplished debut is dark and compelling but ultimately filled with hope. I couldn't put it down—Ruth Hogan

Poignant and perfect. This Fragile Earth shows us exactly how breakable-and reparable-our world is. Not to be missed!—Christina Dalcher, author of VOX and Q

I absolutely DEVOURED this book. It has everything I love - great characters, intrigue, action, heart, drama and hope. Cannot recommend it enough. It was so nice to read something so gripping it got me off my phone for two days—Aisling Bea

What a mind-bending brilliant read. Beautiful and thought provoking, a powerful tribute to the bond between mother and child, LOVED it—Hannah Persaud

Utterly compelling. Susannah Wise's subtle envisioning of a near-future dystopia is sophisticated, emotionally acute and brilliantly unnerving, but what sets this novel apart is the breadth of the author's inventiveness. This is fantasy with a deeply intelligent heart, chilling, poignant and captivating from the first page to the last. I didn't want to leave the world Wise creates: her talent for understated tension kept me gripped to the end—Lisa Hilton, author of Maestra

Truly gripping—Kristin Scott Thomas

Excellent . . . the very human, very relatable story of trying to save the ones you loved tugged at my heart-strings in a sometimes unbearable way—Beth Clift, author of Last One at the Party

This is an intense, engaging and beautifully written first novel—The Guardian

Hits home—Financial Times

A great read about a natural born survivor. I couldn't put it down—Mark 'Billy' Billingham

Alluring, intoxicating prose... a dark fairy tale. 4 out of 5!—SFX Magazine

Keeps us on the edge as readers, and pulls us along. Signy feels very real.—Cultured Vultures

[An] amazing futuristic novel . . . Do yourself a favour and a pick up a copy now. It's fantastic—Paul Bettany

Product Details
ISBN: 9781473232341
ISBN-10: 1473232341
Publisher: Gollancz
Publication Date: September 20th, 2022
Pages: 368
Language: English