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This Fragile Earth

Susannah Wise

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Science fiction

What would you do to protect your family if the world stopped working? A remarkable debut already praised as 'hugely impressive' by David Nicholls.

'A remarkably original first novel, beautifully written, about a future that could be just around the corner' Julie Christie, oscar-winning star of Darling and Doctor Zhivago

'A very British disaster epic. Echoes of John Wyndham. Resonances for today' Steven Baxter, co-author of The Long Earth

'This Fragile Earth is smart, with a fantastic sense of foreboding and anxiety, of ordinary lives about to go horribly off the rails . . . intelligent and accessible, restrained and suspenseful; hugely impressive work from a new writer' David Nicholls, author of One Day and Starter for Ten

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...

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Praise for This Fragile Earth

  • THIS FRAGILE EARTH is smart, with a fantastic sense of foreboding and anxiety, of ordinary lives about to go horribly off the rails...intelligent and accessible, restrained and suspenseful; hugely impressive work from a new writer

  • THIS FRAGILE EARTH is 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

  • 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 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

  • 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, author of THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS

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Susannah Wise

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.

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