Loss is a thing of the past. Murder is obsolete. Death is just the beginning. In 1938, death is no longer feared but exploited. Since the discovery of the afterlife, the British Empire has extended its reach into Summerland, a metropolis for the recently deceased.
Readers familiar with Hannu Rajaniemi's dense, information-packed futures in novels like The Quantum Thief will be surprised ... While the conspiracies and plots unfold in classic spy-story fashion, the wildly inventive setting gives the novel a unique kind of freshness.
is a world where Spiritualism works—the whole nine yards, ectoplasm, spirit mediums and all ... Mr. Rajaniemi keeps pulling new ideas out of his hat, each one making you think, with a shudder, 'Of course—but who would have thought of that?' This stand-alone novel makes him the all-time great of unintended consequences as well. Summerland is a masterpiece, set to be a classic—but not by any means a comfortable one.
[A] tremendous amount of worldbuilding went into [Summerland] ... In a manner that’s sometimes frustrating, but ultimately wise, Rajaniemi refuses to hand-hold readers, who are dropped into this alternate history and expected to catch up and keep up with characters little interested in exposition. The inclusion of real historical figures and events grounds the narrative somewhat... Rajaniemi blends them in impressively weird ways, crafting a spy caper that will expand your mind even as it pummels it into submission.