The Speed of Dark

The Speed of Dark

Elizabeth Moon

Synopsis of The Speed of Dark

In the near future, disease will be a condition of the past. Most genetic defects will be removed at birth; the remaining during infancy. Unfortunately, there will be a generation left behind. For members of that missed generation, small advances will be made. Through various programs, they will be taught to get along in the world despite their differences. They will be made active and contributing members of society. But they will never be normal.

Lou Arrendale is a member of that lost generation, born at the wrong time to reap the awards of medical science. Part of a small group of high-functioning autistic adults, he has a steady job with a pharmaceutical company, a car, friends, and a passion for fencing. Aside from his annual visits to his counselor, he lives a low-key, independent life. He has learned to shake hands and make eye contact. He has taught himself to use ...please... and 'thank you... and other conventions of conversation because he knows it makes others comfortable. He does his best to be as normal as possible and not to draw attention to himself.

But then his quiet life comes under attack. It starts with an experimental treatment that will reverse the effects of autism in adults. With this treatment Lou would think and act and be just like everyone else. But if he was suddenly free of autism, would he still be himself? Would he still love the same classical music-with its complications and resolutions? Would he still see the same colors and patterns in the world'shades and hues that others cannot see? Most importantly, would he still love Marjory, a woman who may never be able to reciprocate his feelings? Would it be easier for her to return the love of a ...normal...?

There are intense pressures coming from the world around him...including an angry supervisor who wants to cut costs by sacrificing the supports necessary to employ autistic workers. Perhaps even more disturbing are the barrage of questions within himself. For Lou must decide if he should submit to a surgery that might completely change the way he views the world . . . and the very essence of who he is.

Thoughtful, provocative, poignant, unforgettable, The Speed of Dark is a gripping exploration into the mind of an autistic person as he struggles with profound questions of humanity and matters of the heart

Reviews of The Speed of Dark


THE SPEED OF DARK is an incredible novel that captures the essences of an intelligent autistic person struggling to independently survive in a constantly changing world -- Harriet Klausner,

Speed Of Dark is a strong, distinctive and fascinating novel. -- Duncan Lawie, The Zone

I will stick my neck out and say that I can almost guarantee that you will not put this Book down and feel you have wasted your time. It is fantastic! -- Vegar Holmen, Alien Online

Elizabeth Moon fans will undoubtedly be surprised at this departure from her usual high-adventure fare, but if they persist, the surprise will be a pleasant one. -- J.B. Peck,

Elizabeth Moon, who is the mother of an autistic son, has done a masterly job of creating Lou. -- Mark Graham , Rocky Mountain News

Congratulations to Elizabeth Moon on writing a superb novel of autism set in the near future and giving voice to a world normally left in silence. -- Ernest Lilley, SFRevu

One of those exceptionally rare novels that has the power to alter one's entire worldview, and reading it is a profoundly rewarding and enriching experience. -- John Grant, Infinity Plus

It's one of the most emotionally resonant and philosophically intriguing SF novels in recent years. -- John C. Snider, Scifi Dimensions

A lot of novels promise to change the way a reader sees the world; The Speed of Dark actually does. -- Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post

There is a lethargic pace and some unwieldy sub-plots, but I'm recommending The Speed of Dark for the placement of a terrific central character in the context of some important philosophical issues. -- Mervius, Fantastica Daily

The Book's memorable main character, the Author's knowledge of her subject, and a fine story strongly told will ensure that "The Speed of Dark" will take its place with the best novels of self-discovery in any genre. -- Dan Bogey, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

It's a bona fide page-turner... -- Pauline Finch,

At worst, Speed of Dark is a magnificent character study. At best, it's the most powerful Book you'll read this year. -- Jayme Lynn Blaschke, SF Site