Gideon the Ninth meets Black Sun in this queer, Māori-inspired debut fantasy about a police officer who is murdered, brought back to life with a mysterious new power, and tasked with protecting her city from an insidious evil threatening to destroy it.
The port city of Hainak is alive: its buildings, its fashion, even its weapons. But, after a devastating war and a sweeping biotech revolution, all its inhabitants want is peace, no one more so than Yat Jyn-Hok a reformed-thief-turned-cop who patrols the streets at night.
Yat has recently been demoted on the force due to “lifestyle choices” after being caught at a gay club. She’s barely holding it together, haunted by memories of a lover who vanished and voices that float in and out of her head like radio signals. When she stumbles across a dead body on her patrol, two fellow officers gruesomely murder her and dump her into the harbor. Unfortunately for them, she wakes up.
Resurrected by an ancient power, she finds herself with the new ability to manipulate life force. Quickly falling in with the pirate crew who has found her, she must race against time to stop a plague from being unleashed by the evil that has taken root in Hainak.
Sascha Stronach is a Maori author from the Kai Tahu iwi and Kati Huirapa Runaka Ki Puketeraki hapu. He is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and has also spent time in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore, which have all inspired parts of the fictional worlds he creates. A former tech writer, he first broke out into speculative fiction by experimenting with the short form. The Dawnhounds, his debut novel, won the Sir Julius Vogel Award at Worldcon 78.
"A wonderful queer noir fever dream." —Tamsyn Muir, internationally bestselling author of Gideon the Ninth
"Fiercely queer. A strange and wondrous re-imagining of noir that takes its cues from biopunk and SE Asian mythos to create something wholly different. There's real imagination at work here—I loved it." —Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling author of Trail of Lightning and Black Sun
“Worldbuilding at its peak. The Dawnhounds
heaves with life, a tangible sense of cosmic power simmering from the waters around this port city and from the people trying to save it. Just don’t call them heroes, aye.” —Chloe Gong, New York Times bestselling author of These Violent Delights and Our Violent Ends
roots in the mind like a night garden, vital and voracious. I can’t get it out of my head.” —Amal El-Mohtar, award-winning coauthor of This Is How You Lose the Time War
packs hard-hitting, mind-bending weirdness into a story that’s still touching and human. If you’re looking for gritty queer spec fic that isn’t unrelentingly grim, you’ve found it.” —Casey Lucas, award-winning author of Into the Mire
“The tones of Stronach and Pratchett are enormously similar. . . .Delightful.” —Octavia Cade, author of The Mythology of Salt and Other Stories