WINNER OF THE 2016 SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
Three years ago, the sun began to die.
In a desperate attempt to reignite the failing star, the United States joined the rest of the planet in unloading its nuclear arsenal at the flickering ember. The missiles burst from silos in Wyoming and Bangladesh, cocooning the earth in tendrils of smoke as they began their two-and-a-half year journey into space. When they finally reach their target, it’s thirty degrees in July and getting colder. Lisa and her husband Guy sit shivering on a South Carolina hilltop, watching as humanity’s best hope at survival shimmers faintly … then disappears below the horizon.
A group of militant rebels called the Minutemen take advantage of the ensuing chaos to knock out power grids, cloaking the freezing earth in near darkness. Seizing control. To escape this ruthless new world order, Lisa and Guy join a reluctant band of refugees crossing the snow-covered South in search of shelter and answers. From an icy parking lot in Atlanta to the Minutemen's makeshift headquarters at Asheville's Biltmore Estate, only one thing is certain: in a world with little light, nothing is guaranteed – least of all survival.
Brock Adams’s Ember is equal parts Emily St. John Mandel and Cormac McCarthy, “a visionary novel of a world gone mad, where the line between good and bad is smeared with gray, and hopeful points of light rage against the darkness” (Michael Farris Smith, author of Desperation Road and Rivers).
Ember is the 2016 winner of the South Carolina First Novel Prize as judged by New York novelist Bridgett M. Davis. The First Novel Prize is co-sponsored by Hub City Press and the South Carolina Arts Commission and is financially supported by the Phifer Johnson Foundation of Spartanburg.
"This evocative, near-future story imagines our misuse of Earth as resulting in a wan and failing sun, making it both timeless and contemporary. Against a haunting, apocalyptic Southern landscape, and with a panoply of rich characterizations, this beautiful novel is a cautionary tale about the power-hungry who rise from the ashes of a lost and dying world. With page-turning twists, the writer makes us care deeply about the small band of survivors making their way against violence and fear and the unknown—toward a brave new world. Ember begins with a small, glowing flame of intrigue and originality, then grows into a fireball of dazzling plot and prose, bursting into a literary tour de force."
—Competition Judge Bridgett M. Davis
"Ember burns with imagination and wrestles with chaos, and combines these two to create a visionary novel of a world gone mad, where the line between good and bad is smeared with gray, and hopeful points of light rage against the darkness."
—Michael Farris Smith, author of Desperation Road and Rivers
Coming in 2017 from Hub City Press.
Brock Adams's work has appeared in The Sewanee Review, Bacopa Literary Review, A capella Zoo, and many other journals. He has won the Andrew Lytle Prize in Fiction, and received second place in Playboy's College Fiction Contest. His first collection of short stories, Gulf, was published in America and Italy in 2010. Adams lives in Spartanburg, SC, where he teaches at the University of South Carolina Upstate.