NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY VULTURE!
"You've gotta read Ascension by Nicholas Binge. Old-school creepy. . .five-star horror."—Stephen King
"Smartly paced, deploying twists and turns strategically to keep the reader moving. . . The ideas are big and the journey is a whole lot of fun." —The New York Times
"[An] excellent page-turner. . . a macabre, escapist pleasure for the thoughtful set.”—The Wall Street Journal
A mind-bending speculative thriller in which the sudden appearance of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean leads a group of scientists to a series of revelations that challenge the notion of what it means to be human
The only way out is up. . .
An enormous snow-covered mountain has appeared in the Pacific Ocean. No one knows when exactly it showed up, precisely how big it might be, or how to explain its existence. When Harold Tunmore is contacted by a shadowy organization to help investigate, he has no idea what he is getting into as he and his team set out for the mountain.
The higher Harold’s team ascends, the less things make sense. Time moves differently, turning minutes into hours, and hours into days. Amid the whipping cold of higher elevation, the climbers’ limbs numb and memories of their lives before the mountain begin to fade. Paranoia quickly turns to violence among the crew, and slithering, ancient creatures pursue them in the snow. Still, as the dangers increase, the mystery of the mountain compels them to its peak, where they are certain they will find their answers. Have they stumbled upon the greatest scientific discovery known to man or the seeds of their own demise?
Framed by the discovery of Harold Tunmore’s unsent letters to his family and the chilling and provocative story they tell, Ascension considers the limitations of science and faith and examines both the beautiful and the unsettling sides of human nature.
Nicholas Binge lives and teaches in Edinburgh. This is his first book in the U.S.
Praise for Ascension:
A New York Times Editors' Choice Pick
"You've gotta read Ascension. . .Old-school creepy. . .five-star horror."—Stephen King
"A weird and wonderful horror novel. . . Binge is an author to watch, and if his subsequent novels are anything close to Ascension, I'll be reading every single one. A fantastic achievement."—TJ Klune, New York Times bestselling author of In the Lives of Puppets and The House in the Cerulean Sea
"[Ascension] is smartly paced, deploying twists and turns strategically to keep the reader moving. . .Binge's crisp prose moves well between science fiction concepts, Gothic terror and fast-paced action sequences. . .For fans of well-wrought science fiction and cosmic horror scares, Ascension is worth the climb."—The New York Times Book Review
"Perfect for readers who loved Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life, or Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, Ascension is thrilling, breathlessly paced, and poses thorny questions about time, fate, grief, and the nature of the self. Is it the accomplishment that makes us human or the quest?"—Vulture, "Best Books of 2023"
"A lovingly retold version of a classic horror thriller, but with more humanity and real emotion; it is the story of a broken man and what redemption looks like in the real world. . .[an] excellent page-turner. . .Ascension is thoroughly recommended—a macabre, escapist pleasure for the thoughtful set.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Binge’s eerie speculative thriller looks both outward at the edges of scientific understanding, and inward at the meaning of responsibility, remorse and the human capacity for salvaging mercy from tragedy.” —The Washington Post
"A vertiginous tale of discovery, horror and weird, time-bending phenomena. . .Using the mountain as a metaphor for humankind's constant striving towards grace and knowledge, Nicholas Binge's Ascension explores themes of faith and determinism, with plenty of hardcore science thrown in. . .frequent references to the Sisyphus myth help to elevate it above its pulp-thriller concept. . .the author also provides well-sustained tension and some excitingly wrought scenes of violence."—The Financial Times
"[An] eerie metaphysical thriller which recalls literary nightmare fodder like Scott Smith's The Ruins and Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation. . . Sleep tight!"—Entertainment Weekly
“A heady mix of wildly imaginative, action-packed storytelling and probing philosophical examination of—quite literally—the meaning of life….[Ascension is] full of frenetic action and packed with twists and turns, gun fights and villains, but it’s also a sustained reflection on the limits of being human."—The Chicago Review of Books
"Ascension is a pastiche of august influences. The epistolary structure is borrowed from Dracula. The doomed expedition that drives Harold mad is akin to H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness. . . .Binge earns his place among these literary lights with an expert story of creeping dread and cosmological horror."—Booklist
"Incredible. . .Pitch-perfect."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"An accomplished and clever speculative thriller that explores the limits of human knowledge." —The Sunday Times (UK)
"A cross between Journey to the Center of the Earth and Heart of Darkness. . . An entertaining SF thriller."—Kirkus Reviews
"Thrilling. . .full of exploration and intriguing thoughts about the true nature of life on Earth. . .An exciting story where the undiscovered wonders of Earth prove as exciting as those out in the galaxy."—Library Journal
"A rollicking good read. Playful, inventive and vivid, with addictive narrative drive. Astonishingly accomplished."—Lionel Shriver, bestselling author of We Need To Talk About Kevin
"Binge has written a profound and elegiac story that examines science, faith and the concept of humanity itself — what it means to live and die, to yearn and strive, and all the spaces in between. I will be thinking about this one for a long time!" —Sunyi Dean, bestselling author of The Book Eaters
"A science fiction mystery that uses a classical concept, but with a beating heart. Both the science and the suspense are perfection, all held together by a robust emotional core. I enjoyed it immensely.” —Tade Thompson, award-winning author of Rosewater and Far from the Light of Heaven
"Ascension is a thrill ride of a novel that kept me reading well past my bedtime."—Michael Mammay, author of the Planetside series
"Exerts an irresistible pull, setting not only a scientific search in motion but also a transcendent quest to unravel mysteries of existence and human meaning. Suspenseful yet also deeply contemplative in turns, this is a novel that spins the mind and asks us to step with it into the unworldly.” —Pitchaya Sudbanthad, author of Bangkok Wakes to Rain
"A scintillating speculative mystery, a harrowing survival adventure, and a stirring love story—Nicholas Binge's Ascension is a mountain of a novel. I was whipping through the pages until I reached its peak.”—Katie Williams, author of Tell the Machine Goodnight