A House Between Earth and the Moon: A Novel

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Penguin, Mar 29, 2022 - Fiction - 400 pages
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“Compulsively readable.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Inventive and thrilling. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”
—Brit Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

“It’s a thrill to read this novel.”
—Jia Tolentino, New York Times bestselling author of Trick Mirror

The gripping story of one scientist in outer space, another who watches over him, the family left behind, and the lengths people will go to protect the people and planet they love


For twenty years, Alex has believed that his gene-edited super-algae will slow and even reverse the effects of climate change. His obsession with his research has jeopardized his marriage, his relationships with his kids, and his own professional future. When the Son sisters, founders of the colossal tech company Sensus, offer him a chance to complete his research, he seizes the opportunity. The catch? His lab will be in outer space on Parallaxis, the first-ever luxury residential space station built for billionaires. Alex and six other scientists leave Earth and their loved ones to become Pioneers, the beta tenants of Parallaxis.

But Parallaxis is not the space palace they were sold. Day and night, the embittered crew builds the facility under pressure from Sensus, motivated by the promise that their families will join them. At home on Earth, much of the country is ablaze in wildfires and battered by storms. In Michigan, Alex’s teenage daughter, Mary Agnes, struggles through high school with the help of the ubiquitous Sensus phones implanted in everyone’s ears, archiving each humiliation, and wishing she could go to Parallaxis with her father—but her mother will never allow it.

The Pioneers are the beta testers of another program, too: Sensus is designing an algorithm that will predict human behavior. Katherine Son hires Tess, a young social psychologist, to watch the experiment’s subjects through their phones—including not only the Pioneers, but Katherine’s sister, Rachel. Tess begins to develop an intimate, obsessive relationship with her subjects. When Tess and Rachel travel to Parallaxis, the controlled experiment begins to unravel.

Prescient and insightful, A House Between Earth and the Moon is at once a captivating epic about the machinations of big tech and a profoundly intimate meditation on the unmistakably human bonds that hold us together.
 

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A House Between Earth and the Moon

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

Thriller author Scherm (Unbecoming) pivots to literary science fiction in this polished but hollow big data parable centered on exposure, privacy, and lies in a near-future Earth plagued by climate ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
30
Section 3
49
Section 4
79
Section 5
90
Section 6
120
Section 7
133
Section 8
153
Section 16
239
Section 17
251
Section 18
267
Section 19
275
Section 20
283
Section 21
293
Section 22
302
Section 23
313

Section 9
163
Section 10
166
Section 11
180
Section 12
192
Section 13
201
Section 14
220
Section 15
237
Section 24
325
Section 25
336
Section 26
347
Section 27
365
Section 28
380
Section 29
387
Copyright

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About the author (2022)

Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming. She lives in California with her family.

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