Destroyer of Light is Jennifer Marie Brissett’s long-awaited follow up to her critically acclaimed debut Elysium, winner of a Philip K. Dick Special Citation and a finalist for the Locus and the Tiptree awards.
Elysium is set on Earth after people have been wiped out by aliens while Destroyer of Light takes readers to another planet and far into the future to meet the humans who survived Earth’s destruction.
The frame of Destroyer of Light is a mystery—a search for a missing boy. But the deeper story is about the relationship between a mother searching for her young daughter, who is kidnapped and abused by a warlord overseeing an army of child soldiers, and the relationship between humans and their former antagonists, the four-dimensional aliens known as the Krestge. Though the Krestge destroyed civilization on Earth, some of their descendants now live peacefully among humans, and while some humans are willing to forgive the crimes of the past, going so far as to start families with the Krestge, others see the crimes of the aliens’ forbears as unforgivable.
“There’s a lot of difficulty in answering questions as to what kind of people the Krestge are because to get to know one is not to get to know all. The first alien you meet in the beginning, the step-father of the missing [human] boy, is really worried about his son and wants to do everything he can to try and find him,” Brissett tells me on the new episode of New Books in Science Fiction.
“And yet I think the distrust that humanity has for the Krestge is not unfounded, and it’s not without its history and not without its reason. The feeling of not being told the entire truth, of not owning up to past sins, to just sort of pretending that it all just went away because you’ve decided to not be that anymore, doesn’t really happen.”