Like every child in Is-Land, all Astra Ordott wants is to have her Security Shot, do her National Service and defend her Gaian homeland from Non-Lander ‘infiltrators’. But when one of her Shelter mothers, the formidable Dr Hokma Blesser, tells her the shot will limit her chances of becoming a scientist – or helping raise the mysterious data-messenger Owleons Hokma breeds – Astra reluctantly agrees to deceive the Is-Land authorities and all her family and friends.
Astra grows up increasingly conscious of the differences between her and the other Or-kids. When Lil, an orphaned wild child of the forest, arrives to share Astra’s home, at last she has someone exciting to play with. But Lil’s father has taught her some alarming ideas about Is-Land and the world, and Astra is about to learn some devastating truths about Is-Land, Non-Land, the Owleons and the complex web of adult relationships that surrounds her.
Also available in audiobook: ‘The Chicks’: Astra Audiobook Extract
Astra was the Spring 2014 Litro Book Club read
Guest Blogs on Astra by Naomi Foyle
‘Writing with Green Ink and Peanut Butter: Astra and SF’ for Litro Book Club.
‘Fathers and the Mothership’ for ReaderDad.
‘Home Truths: Domesticity, Astra and SF’ for SFX.
Praise for Astra
‘Have you ever read a book that impressed you so much you had no real idea what to say about it…? This is one of those . . . an astounding work of fictional art . . . ‘ Over The Effing Rainbow
‘an intensely deep, complex and thought-provoking narrative of the main character’s life. It’s a beautiful story, unique and daring. . .’ Bibliosanctum
‘a beguiling and absorbing sci-fi/fantasy novel set in a post-apocalyptic eco-utopia . . . It also happens to be an uplifting celebration of bodily diversity and an illustration of the ‘social model’ of disability in action.’ Blind Spot
‘ . . . a complex and daring literary story.’ upcoming4.me
The novel’s plot is fascinating, with an intricate web of relationships . . . and some compelling political shenanigans going on in the background, all of it set down in Foyle’s smooth and flowing writing style.’ A Fantastical Librarian
‘ . . . the book promises something even better than a new A Door Into Ocean: the possibility of an SF Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret . . . it is nice to see a science fiction novel—crucially one not marketed as YA—taking the Judy Blume approach and confronting angst, lust, alienation, and jealousy (and, of course, menstruation and masturbation) head on.’ Strange Horizons [WARNING: review contains spoilers]
‘A friend, alarmed by my five-year concentration on Middle Eastern problems, recommended Astra as an invigorating sort of escapism. She was right. My first experience of SF enchanted and stimulated me – making me wonder how soon a version of the Astra world could become our reality…’ Dervla Murphy – author of Full Tilt, Eight Feet in the Andes, and over twenty other acclaimed travel titles.
‘This is nothing like The Hunger Games; this is slow and beautiful and aching, painting a picture of paradise on earth so close to being what it pretends to be that it physically hurts.’ Skydancer8
Finally, just for my website readers – the alternative cover design . . .