Company Town (Hardcover) | Northshire Bookstore

Company Town (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. Taking place in a near futuristic world on an offshore oil rig somewhere near Canada we're thrown into New Arcadia, a place where bioaugmentation and genetic engineering from even before birth is a part of nearly everyone's lives. It is on this oil rig that we meet Jung Hwa, a kick ass half Korean woman with sturge-weber syndrome, a disability that can cause seizures and glaucoma along with many other health issues.
Hwa is one of the few truly 'organic' people left on the rig, but does not let this or her sturge-weber get in the way of life. Hwa is a bodyguard for a sex workers union, and quite possibly the best one on the rig. It is because of this talent that Hwa is recruited by the CEO of the company who now owns New Arcadia as the personal bodyguard for his young son, who has already had threats made against his life. But when her friends from the sex workers union start turning up dead, Hwa is pulled into a conspiracy more dangerous than she could imagine.
I really immediately fell in love with Hwa as a character. It's awesome to see a disabled female protagonist, but Hwa is so much more than that too. She's a very strong person, she has a very unique view of this world as an 'organic' person in a world where that isn't common and her voice throughout the novel is the perfect mix of sarcasm, seriousness and cursing.
This book is a well written sci fi noir that seems part Blade Runner, part Terminator and maybe even a little Mad Max Fury Road. If any of these things interest you I highly recommend you pick up this book and start reading.

— Amy Williams

Kickass Hwa works as a bodyguard for sex workers on an oil rig which—for some—constitutes its own nation. When she attracts the attention of the company-owning family, however, she shifts her focus from the women she protects to the endangered young heir who can't defend himself in the least. Consequences abound when a serial killer strikes Hwa's old charges in her absence, and Hwa must decide to whom she owes her allegiance most. Thrilling, original, and full of memorable characters!

Aubrey Restifo


2017 Winner of the Sunburst Award Society's Copper Cylinder Adult Award
2017 Canada Reads Finalist
2017 Locus Award Finalist for Science Fiction Novel Category

2017 Sunburst Award Finalist for Adult Fiction
2017 Aurora Awards Finalist for Best Novel

Madeline Ashby's Company Town is a brilliant, twisted mystery, as one woman must evaluate saving the people of a town that can't be saved, or saving herself.

"Elegant, cruel, and brutally perfect, Company Town is a prize of a novel." —Mira Grant, New York Times Bestselling and Hugo-Award nominated author of the Newsflesh series

New Arcadia is a city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes, now owned by one very wealthy, powerful, byzantine family: Lynch Ltd.

Hwa is of the few people in her community (which constitutes the whole rig) to forgo bio-engineered enhancements. As such, she's the last truly organic person left on the rig—making her doubly an outsider, as well as a neglected daughter and bodyguard extraordinaire. Still, her expertise in the arts of self-defense and her record as a fighter mean that her services are yet in high demand. When the youngest Lynch needs training and protection, the family turns to Hwa. But can even she protect against increasingly intense death threats seemingly coming from another timeline?

Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city's stability and heightens the unease of a rig turning over. All signs point to a nearly invisible serial killer, but all of the murders seem to lead right back to Hwa's front door. Company Town has never been the safest place to be—but now, the danger is personal.

About the Author

Madeline Ashby grew up in a household populated by science fiction fans. After meeting Ursula K. Le Guin in the basement of the Elliott Bay Book Company that year, she decided to start writing science fiction stories. While immigrating to Canada from the United States in 2006 , she joined the Cecil Street Irregulars - a genre writers' workshop founded by Judith Merril. Since then she has been published in Tesseracts, Flurb, Nature, Escape Pod and elsewhere. She has a masters degree in Manga and Anime and writes on such matters for io9, and Boing Boing. Currently she works as a strategic foresight consultant in Toronto. She is also a regular columnist for the Ottawa Citizen and the author of Company Town.

Praise For…

"A thrilling near-future noir mystery....A fascinating book from a writer with great vision." Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse Novels series

“Smart, weird dystopia.” —Margaret Atwood

"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein.... Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." —Locus

"This is brave, bold, crazy storytelling at the edge and doesn't read like anything else I've seen up or down the pike." —Chuck Wendig, New York Times bestselling author of Aftermath

"A brilliant and chilling look at our post-oil future. I haven't been this hooked by an SF novel for ages." —Charles Stross, author of the Laundry Files series

"Loved Company Town, Madeline Ashby’s wonderfully imaginative new sci-fi mystery with a fascinating female protagonist." —Feminist Frequency

"The world is an updated version of Raymond Chandler's, with gray morals and broken characters, and Hwa's internal monologue has just the right balance of introspection and wit...[a] very solid page-turner." —Publishers Weekly

"A fascinating mix of detective noir and near-future SF with cinematic world building and a broken, but resilient, unquestionably badass heroine." —Booklist

Ashby's action scenes come thick and fast...the ideas, setting and relationships that make the story really worth reading." —New Zealand Herald

EditCopy to TI

"The skill with which Ashby introduces her various SF elements is worthy of the best Heinlein....Company Town never falters in its pacing. It's a terrific ride." --Locus

"I'm an immense fan of Ashby's work...It is often profound, and it is never boring." —Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing

Product Details
ISBN: 9780765382900
ISBN-10: 0765382903
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 288
Language: English
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