Multiple award-winning author Cat Sparks writes science fiction with a distinctly Australian flavour – stories steeped in the desperate anarchy of Mad Max futures, redolent with scorching sun and the harshness of desert sands, but her narratives reach deeper than that. In her tales of ordinary people adapting to post-apocalyptic futures, she casts a light on what it means to be human; the good and the bad, the noble and the shameful.
Dark Harvest gathers together Cat’s best short fiction of recent years, as selected by the author herself: fourteen stories, two of them novelettes, including one brand new tale and two Ditmar Award winners.
In “You Will Remember Who You Were” humanity’s elite survive in vast Arcs towering high above the surface of an Earth ravaged by climate change, the bored inhabitants of Solstice Arc forever jealous of their neighbours and oblivious to the struggles of those they left below...
Set in a harsh denuded future, “Fata Morgana” sees a deadly war machine attempt to bring its aged maker home, pursued by the weapons of its former employers.
In “The Ship Sales On” passengers on a luxury liner cling desperately to the decadence of the past as the world crumbles around them and the inevitability of their doom closes in.
The title story, “Dark Harvest”, introduces us to a unit of soldiers abandoned on an alien planet, fighting an enemy they don’t understand without the support they so desperately need.
In “Before Dominica” we are introduced to Ruby, who used to have an office and a promising CV; now she’s a cleaner in a corporate building, surviving on scrounged left-over sandwiches and routinely working around the corpses from the latest gun battle. Ruby is down-trodden, defeated by circumstances and resigned to her lot, until a ghost from her past ignites resentments she never suspected still smouldered within her...
You Will Remember Who You Were
The Seventh Relic
And the Ship Sails On
No Fat Chicks
Prayers to Broken Stone
“… her stories are peppered with giant battle mechs, ominous drones, and Robocop-like body armor… There’s something to be said for climbing far out on a limb, and Sparks shows us how to do that repeatedly in this provocative collection.” – Locus
“Cat Sparks’ ‘Fata Morgana’… is the kind of post-apocalyptic war-machine creepy motherhood fiction that I really want to see.” – Liz Bourke at Tor.com
“This is a profoundly strange and evocative tale of a world haunted by shadows and ghosts, war and despair… I re-read this piece a couple of times, just to savour the prose and the ever-twisting and shifting layers of reality.” – Maria Haskins (of Prayers to Broken Stone)
“Forget the Mad Max comparisons: Sparks is far more ambitious than that.” – Peter Watts, author of Blindsight
“Vivid, compelling, and relentless, Cat Sparks makes you care about the soul of a mecha future as you hang onto the edge, feeling the sandy grit between your teeth.” – Tina LeCount Myers, author of The Song of All
“Sparks captures the overlapping banter of soldiers perfectly. Hints and ideas are wonderfully woven to create a view of the world as the group of mercenaries encounter terrifying super-soldiers and the even weirder ‘nuns’.” – Bookbeard’s Blog (of Dark Harvest)
Available as a paperback (242 pages), a special hardback edition, signed by the author and limited to just 50 numbered copies (278 pages) and an ebook.