On this episode of Everything is Canon, Steve talks to author Claire Winn all about her debut, City of Shattered Light, which is described as, “As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.”
Here’s the summary…
As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue A.I. hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.
Gunslinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.
Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The A.I. exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.
This video game/cyber punk inspired story is about as much fun as your likely gonna have reading a book. With a pair of very strong leads, a ton of important themes including consequentialism, class warfare, bodily autonomy, and the potential pitfalls of artificial intelligence, City of Shattered Light delivers in just about every way possible.
Steve and Claire talk about the road it took to get here, some of the great worldbuilding and themes, City of Shattered Light of course, and much, much more.
City of Shattered Light is out now, click HERE to order a copy today!
Cover art by Sanjay Charlton.
About the Author:
Claire Winn is a science fiction and fantasy author, with her debut YA sci-fi, City of Shattered Light, coming October 2021 from Flux Books. She is represented by Cortney Radocaj at the Belcastro Literary Agency. A gamer at heart, she writes books that are fast-paced, snarky, and driven by fierce, flawed characters. Since graduating from Northwestern University, Claire has worked as a legal writer, freelance editor, and an editorial intern. On the creative side, she builds props and armor for cosplay and writes storylines for LARP games—in addition to battling with boffer swords.