Metafilter and the Mysterious Mystery of the SF Mystery Novel
November 16, 2020 12:00 PM   Subscribe

A friend is looking for a book that she heard about and now wants to read, but she can’t remember what it was. She describes it as an upcoming (or maybe recent) science fiction locked room mystery novel that opens with a woman alone on probably a spaceship, with a dead body and some bossy but unhelpful robots and no memories. (If not locked room, at least mystery structure.)

Guesses that have already been eliminated: Velocity Weapon, Six Wakes, Seven of Infinities, Lightless, a short story by Kris Willering, and anything on this 2-year-old list of 5 books about waking up in a strange situation.

Your help would be appreciated!
posted by wintersweet to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Meets some of the boxes though definitely fails others: Tamsyn Muir’s Locked Tomb trilogy? The second book (Harrow the Ninth; link is to NPR review) came out this summer and it’s a space mystery of sorts, with an unreliable narrator and missing memories and rules that need figuring out. It opens with a woman locked in a (mysterious space) with some bossy voices telling her what to do.

Opening prologue here; careful looking up other writeups because there are spoilers aplenty, and the books are such a fun series of great juicy reveals.
posted by miles per flower at 12:32 PM on November 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Any chance at all it was actually a podcast? This sounds a lot like VAST Horizon.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:43 PM on November 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


Any chance it's one of the Murderbot Diaries books?
posted by humbug at 3:01 PM on November 16, 2020 [3 favorites]


Response by poster: It's not the Locked Tomb or Murderbot books. She really thought it was a book, but the podcast does fit the bill. Hmm! Novel suggestions still welcome.
posted by wintersweet at 3:44 PM on November 16, 2020


It's probably not Binti, since the "alone on a ship with unhelpful entities" occurs in the mid-section and several of the other clues don't match, but I'm mentioning it anyway since that's what first came to mind when I read your description.

I really liked Six Wakes, and recommend reading it even though it's not the answer to her query.
posted by rakaidan at 4:16 PM on November 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


Hmm, could it be Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine? It has a woman alone on a spaceship with a dead body and an evil AI, but it's not very recent and it's more horror than mystery.
posted by moonmilk at 4:34 PM on November 16, 2020


Dawn by Octavia Butler?
posted by ovvl at 6:06 PM on November 16, 2020 [1 favorite]


Wild shot in the dark: Six Wakes, by Mur Lafferty?
posted by metabaroque at 4:51 PM on November 17, 2020


Response by poster: None of these is definitely it, but the podcast seems like the most likely contender. (If I hear otherwise later, I'll update the post if possible!)
posted by wintersweet at 8:32 PM on November 17, 2020 [2 favorites]


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