Calypso (Hardcover)

Calypso By Oliver K. Langmead Cover Image

Calypso (Hardcover)


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"Ambitious and elegantly told meditation on how we can’t leave ourselves behind."  -Esquire Magazine - The Best Sci-Fi Books of 2024

A ground-breaking, mind-bending and wildly imaginative epic verse revolution in SF. A saga of colony ships, shattering moons and cataclysmic war in a new Eden.

Truly unforgettable and richly lyrical eco-fiction, for fans of Kim Stanley Robinson, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Jeff VanderMeer.

Rochelle wakes from cryostasis to take up her role as engineer on the colony ark, Calypso. But she finds the ship has transformed into a forest, populated by the original crew’s descendants, who revere her like a saint. 

She travels the ship with the Calypso’s creator, the enigmatic Sigmund, and Catherine, a bioengineered marvel who can commune with the plants, uncovering a new history of humanity forged while she slept. 

She discovers a legacy of war between  botanists and engineers. A war fought for the right to build a new Earth – a technological paradise, or a new Eden in bloom, untouched by mankind’s past.

And Rochelle, the last to wake, holds the balance of power in her hands.
Oliver K. Langmead is an author and a poet based in Glasgow. His novels include Glitterati, Birds of Paradise and Metronome, and his long-form poem, Dark Star, featured in the Barnes and Noble and the Guardian’s Best Books of 2015. Oliver is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Glasgow, where he is researching terraforming and ecological philosophy, and in late 2018 he undertook a writing residency at the European Space Agency’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne, writing about astronauts and people who work with astronauts.

Product Details ISBN: 9781803365336
ISBN-10: 1803365331
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
Fun and easily readable ... It's imaginative and Rochelle's story is compelling ... If you’re seeing a similarity to another epic poem—one by Milton, say—you wouldn’t be wrong ... Think “Out of the Silent Planet” (1938) by C.S. Lewis, but with nanotechnology.
The Wall Street Journal

Ambitious and elegantly told meditation on how we can’t leave ourselves behind.
Esquire's Best Sci-Fi of 2024

Style and story together are fresh and exciting, recalling the heady days of the 60s New Wave and suggesting how much more than standard space opera this genre can offer.
The Guardian

Fusing Ancient Greek epic with far-flung futurism, this is bold, innovative stuff.
Financial Times

The book’s use of poetry is no mere gimmick. Langmead employs the rhythms and patterns of verse, along with some ingenious typographical formatting, to bring lush lyricism and an epic Homeric sweep to his story.
Financial Times

Langmead’s genius lies in melding this sci-fi tradition with a much longer one of versified storytelling; he takes the weight of the future and transmits it through a style associated with the past, to grand effect. Let there be more epic space verse, please, and let it all be as successful as Calypso.

If you take a risk on just one SF book this year, make it this one.

Epic and personal, grandiose in scale and full of small familiar details of human life, Calypso is a book that both unsettles you and makes you feel at home.
Strange Horizons

This awe-inspiring and utterly beautiful novel told in verse will make you think, feel, and wonder why there aren't more contemporary authors writing sci-fi that is both full of ideas and jaw-droppingly well written.
Nerds of a Feather

Langmead’s ambitious, original fiction is always something to savour, and Calypso contains some of his very best writing. Full of arresting imagery, emotional complexity and startling narrative turns, it’s a thoughtful, elegant, exciting -- a really unique read. I loved it.
Sarah Waters

A stunning work of epic imagination and outstanding craftsmanship. Langmead stretches language and form to create beautiful verse and a sizzling story.
T.L. Huchu

Langmead stands at the cutting edge of science fiction. He has taken on the monumental task of novelty in a jaded world and succeeded admirably. His work is gutsy in both thesis and execution, and he'll absolutely be on my list of stars to watch.
Alex White

Calypso is many things. It's highly inventive, delicately crafted, and an elegant tale. It is both a written work and a work of art, using the kind of formal experiment which, when considered with the narrative, enhances the whole. I enjoyed it immensely. 
Tade Thompson

Calypso is an evocative and visionary novella that reshapes the cold, scientific story of human colonisation into a lyrical song, reminiscent of ancient epic poems.
Sunyi Dean

Uniquely powerful ... A sure bet for readers of lyrical, lush, and character-driven SF

[A] lush sensory experience ... Readers up for the challenge will find plenty to reward them in this ambitious work.
Publishers Weekly

Lush and lyrical, Calypso is nothing short of a marvel, calling to mind both ancient epics and thrilling dreams of the future. It’s a staggering odyssey that smashes the scifi genre as it spirals out, from moments of stillness on Earth to riots of explosive creation on a distant new paradise. I was consistently amazed. As a writer, I’m floored by his ambition. As a reader, I can’t wait to dive into his world again.
Nathan Tavares

This is very cool. The story of an interstellar colony mission rendered as an epic poem, rich with imagery and allusion. And it looks lovely. I really enjoyed this.
David Hutchinson

Far more than a literal Space Odyssey, Oliver Langmead’s Calypso is a breathless high wire act of a novel. A rich, reckless, gravity-defying marvel.
Malcolm Devlin

I love everything about it. I love the structural play of it; I love that it's so beautiful, there's such wonderful language, those sections pulsing as waveforms are incredible; it's presented in such a beautiful way that I was honestly absolutely flabbergasted. It's extraordinary. It's so stylish, and powerful. And it's so absolutely, utterly assured, it totally understand itself and what it's trying to say and do. I loved it. 
James Smythe

Bloody hell, it’s brilliant! Seriously, I’m happy something like this exists. It’s fantastic. A sense of wonder pervades every line and every chapter; the characters are memorable, warm, heartbreakingly human. Give as many people as possible a chance to go on this strange, savage journey.
Francesco Dimitri

Calypso is a brilliant, consistently amazing and utterly original piece of science fiction: intensely readable and absorbing not despite being in verse but because of it, expertly handled and thought-provoking.
Adam Roberts

Vivid, mind-bending and utterly unique, Langmead is a writer at the very forefront of genre fiction.
Stark Holborn

Huge in scope and heart, elegant in structure, and filled with an ocean of thoughts about humanity and our future: Calypso is a stunning creation.
Aliya Whiteley

Carried along on the undulations of the text, you sink into the narrative, subsumed, seduced by the beauty of flora-fauna-funga body horror; the splendour of becoming more-than-human. Calypso is a stunning piece of work that made me feel as one with all the glorious magnificence and horror of the world.
Ever Dundas

You can almost summarise Calypso from its first line – it ‘is a grand cathedral’. And Oliver K. Langmead’s writing is a rhapsodic exploration of faith, nature and space exploration that echoes powerfully through it. There are notes of celestial wonder and cosmic scale here, but also the more intimate and moving struggles of its central character, Rochelle, as she tries literally to find her place in the universe. 
Tajinder Hayer

It's been a long time since I've read a book so bold and lush, so skilled at making and remaking vibrant and richly imagined worlds, and yet so attentive to vulnerability - it was such an ultimately tender read.
Jenn Ashworth

Langmead’s kaleidoscopic space-opera-in-verse transforms glimpses of Homer, Ovid, Old English epic, the Bible and Milton into something rich and strange. As emotionally affecting as it is formally inventive, Calypso offers a gripping new myth for our distant futures.
Catherine Spooner, Professor of Literature and Culture at Lancaster University

Calypso is an explosive sci-fi rewriting of the book of Genesis, smashing expectations of gender, genre & how language works on the page. The anti-villain of the new Eden has never been painted with such humanity; the transformation & creation of the world is utterly vibrant. This is a thrilling, boggling read, cosmic & world-smashing & deeply considered & felt, & it will stay with me for a long while to come.  Eoghan Walls, author of The Gospel of Orla 

Calypso has the ambition and scope of the Foundation series and the striking visuals and originality of Annihilation. Through brilliant voice and characterisation, it reframes themes around faith, humanity and nature both bravely and tenderly.
Dr Inés Gregori Labarta