Mindscape takes us to a future in which the world itself has been literally divided by the Barrier, a phenomenon that will not be ignored. For 115 years this extraterrestrial, epi-dimensional entity has divided the earth into warring zones. Although a treaty to end the interzonal wars has been hammered out, power-hungry politicians, gangsters, and spiritual fundamentalists are determined to thwart it. Celestina, the treaty’s architect, is assassinated, and her protegée, Elleni, a talented renegade and one of the few able to negotiate the Barrier, takes up her mantle. Now Elleni and a motley crew of allies risk their lives to make the treaty work. Can they repair their fractured world before the Barrier devours them completely?
“What rich and provocative territory this amazingly written first novel explores, what memorable characters it compels us to confront—renegade gene scientists and ethnic throwbacks, slippery politicos and “expendable” Extras, ghost dancers and double consciousness diviners conjuring through an enigmatic veil—each struggling in complex circumstances to navigate survival, identity, and self in a world thrown off its course, each speaking in distinct voices that stay with you long after you’ve left their unforgettable stories. Science fiction at its best, Andrea Hairston’s Mindscape makes you want to cuss and shout for joy—its vision, raw humanity, and ultimate hopefulness are exhilarating. What a pleasure it is to be invited into a world so large and muscular, so sensual and rooted in global history, a world in which not only the future but the past is at stake.”
—Sheree Renée Thomas, Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction and Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, winner of the 2001 and 2005 World Fantasy Awards
Andrea Hairston is a Professor of Theater and Afro-American Studies at Smith College, as well as the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre. Her plays have been produced at Yale Rep, Rites and Reason, the Kennedy Center, Stage West, and on Public Radio and Television. She has received many awards for her writing and directing, including an NEA Grant to Playwrights, a Ford Foundation grant to collaborate with Senegalese Master Drummer Massamba Diop, and a Shubert Fellowship for Playwrighting. She is currently at work on a new novel, for which she received the 2004 Speculative Literature Foundation’s Older Writer Grant. Mindscape is her first novel.