Published by Astra House (2021-11-09)
"Soto brilliantly inverts the inherently outward aspect of the first-contact trope—the idea of seeking salvation in the stars—by forcing his characters to look inward, to question their acquiescence on issues like climate change, police brutality, and the smothering influence of Big-Tech . . . It's precisely Soto's refusal to be 'weighted' down by decades of genre tradition, to instead turn the trope on its head and in doing so remind us that no-one but ourselves is coming to save us, that makes This Weightless World such an exciting and radical novel."
—Ian Mond, Locus
"Set in Silicon Valley and Chicago, This Weightless World considers questions of morality in a world where people feel powerless in the face of formidable systemic forces."
—Laura Adamczyk, A.V. Club
"Though the novel gestures toward wider global reactions, Soto wisely focuses on a few specific humans . . . Soto’s characters are finely drawn, as are their philosophically thorny conflicts with each other . . . Amid the discovery of alien life, a touching meditation on humanity."
“Highly recommended for idealistic and compassionate readers who enjoy scifi and fantasy that reflects on the nature of human empathy surrounding a world-changing event. See Cloud Atlas, 1Q84, Contact, and Station Eleven.”
—Suncerae Smith, Read Well Reviews
"What of our current moment is ephemeral, and what is part of some unstoppable machine? By starting with one of the big 'what ifs'—extraterrestrial contact—Adam Soto charts his own course in looking for the answer. At once utterly ambitious, moving, and intimate, This Weightless World stretches from domestic protests to centuries-distant planets, all while exploring the delicate hopes of its characters. I couldn't stop reading. The ending was unforgettable. I can't believe Soto pulled it off!"
—Kawai Strong Washburn, author of the PEN/Hemingway Award-winning Sharks in the Time of Saviors
"This Weightless World is pure polyphony. Adam Soto sets programmers alongside revolutionaries, the contours of love alongside the coruscations of code, the power of classical music alongside the beauty of video games, and he does it all with total authority. Here it is: the social novel for the 21st century."
—Robin Sloan, author of Sourdough
"This Weightless World filters its alien encounters and deep-space expeditions, its dreams and anxieties about the centuries to come, through the beating hearts of a few struggling, yearning, fumbling, desperate, modern-day human beings. It's not so much a novel of ideas, asking, 'What does the future hold for us?,' as a novel populated by characters who can't stop asking themselves that same question. Reading it, I was reminded that caring about the fate of the planet is really a matter of caring about the fates of its billions of distinct and individual inhabitants, with their billions of distinct and individual futures."
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Brief History of the Dead
"With This Weightless World—and its use of a classic alien contact story to reveal America’s constant struggle with race, class, inequality and mistrust— Adam Soto proves that he gets what science fiction is really about: it’s always the present rather than the far future, and the right here rather than the far away. A fascinating debut."
—Tim Maughan, author of Infinite Detail, a Locus Award finalist