Wednesday, February 17, 2021

BLOG TOUR: A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel


 Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Sylvain Neuvel's A History of What Comes Next, the first title in the Take Them To The Stars series! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt AND a tour-wide giveaway to share. So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Historical Fiction
Science Fiction/Fantasy/Thriller
Take Them To The Stars, #1
Publish Date:
February 2, 2021

Showing that truth is stranger than fiction, Sylvain Neuvel weaves a scfi thriller reminiscent of Blake Crouch and Andy Weir, blending a fast moving, darkly satirical look at 1940s rocketry with an exploration of the amorality of progress and the nature of violence in A History of What Comes Next.

Always run, never fight.
Preserve the knowledge.
Survive at all costs.
Take them to the stars.

Over 99 identical generations, Mia’s family has shaped human history to push them to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices and sacrificing countless lives. Her turn comes at the dawn of the age of rocketry. Her mission: to lure Wernher Von Braun away from the Nazi party and into the American rocket program, and secure the future of the space race.

But Mia’s family is not the only group pushing the levers of history: an even more ruthless enemy lurks behind the scenes.

A darkly satirical first contact thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them..



I can’t get the smell out of my nose. Outside, the war smells like piss and wet cement, but in here it reeks of burned flesh and pus. Human beings broken down into their ingredients. A million odors competing with one another. The putrid smell of rotting meat. The sweetness of caramelized fat. Charred leather, singed hair, and the metallic smell of blood. The worst part is these people are still alive. This; this is what Dante wrote about. The stench is so thick I can taste it. I can feel it crawling all over my skin.

I woke up in a hospital near Berlin. One of the Peenemünde engineers found us on the side of the road. Pure luck. We could have died alone in a ditch. Von Braun’s left shoulder is wrecked. His arm is fractured in two places. He’ll live, no thanks to me. I’m okay, except for a nasty cut above the eye.

There was an air raid not far from here. Allied forces dropped incendiaries by the thousand near a tire factory. The firestorm spread ten blocks in every direction. Thousands died in the inferno. The ones in here only wish they did. Most are civilians, some military. We can’t tell which is which because their clothes fused with their skin when the air around them reached four thousand degrees.

They wanted to keep von Braun for surgery, but we can’t wait. There are three thousand people making their way to Bleicherode, and von Braun is the man in charge. He knows it. He insisted they set his arm in a cast and let us leave. He is loyal to his people, maybe even a little brave. It bothers me, somehow. The world is easier to grasp in black-and-white. This war … it’s nothing but gray.

The other person in my room is a ten-year-old girl. I know that only because I heard the doctor say it. She has no skin left, none. She’s just a dark red shape, scabs in the form of a human being. I can’t bear to look at her, but she has to, because her fucking eyelids are gone. I wish her a quick death. Her, and the people who dropped those bombs on her, and the Nazis, and the German police. Maybe the whole world should burn. We don’t deserve to live if we’re capable of this.

I want to go home, but for now I’ll have to be content with leaving this hospital. We’d better do it soon. A nurse came in five minutes ago to draw my blood. Mother said they can’t look at our blood. No one can. I told her to stop. I did. I told her twice, then I snapped her wrist in half.

Copyright © 2021 by Sylvain Neuvel


"[This series] is filled with virtually limitless narrative possibilities." ―Kirkus

"An extraordinary twist on the space race and a paean to what smart, strong women can accomplish. I'm always over the moon for Neuvel's stories!" ―Delilah Dawson

Sylvain Neuvel proves once again he deserves the title of the hottest new SF writer of the 21st century ― and this time he does it by looking back at the storied development of rocketry in the 20th. Clever and compelling, with a succession of kick-ass heroines propelling events along via mayhem and murder behind the scenes, A History of What Comes Next blasts off on page one and will keep you enthralled until the end. ―Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of The Oppenheimer Alternative

"A highly crafted and unique look at the space race, through the eyes of those who exist only to ensure its success... Neuvel’s intriguing first-contact story is set through centuries of manipulation and pursuit. It’s a promising start to what looks to be a dark and exciting trilogy." ―Library Journal

"The balance of wry narration, wired action, and delicate worldbuilding make for deeply gratifying reading. Fans of alternate history and intelligent sci-fi will love this." ―Publishers Weekly starred review.


**About the Author**
Photo Credit: James Andrew Rosen
Sylvain Neuvel dropped out of high school at age 15. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India, and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator, though he wishes he were an astronaut. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course). His debut, Sleeping Giants, was described by NPR as “one of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”

Stay connected with Sylvain Neuvel


***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends March 8, 2021
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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