Kirinya (1998)

Cover of Gollancz edition.
Cover of Heyne edition (Germany).

The end of the universe happened at around ten o'clock at night on 22 December 2032. It's just that humanity hasn't realized it yet.

The Chaga, the strange flora deposited from the stars, has been budy terraforming the tropics into someone else's terra. A little like a multi-coloured rainforest, part coral reef and wholly, indescribably alien, the Chaga changes everything - and everyone - that it comes into contact with.

Gaby McAslan was once a hungry news reporter who compromised her relationship with UNECTA researcher Dr Shepard for the sake of her story. But for the past ten years Shepard has been incommunicado on board the Big Dumb Object, the huge, mysterious craft that is orbiting midway between Earth and the Moon, while Gaby lives within the Chaga zone in an experimental community of artists, writers and dancers ... but Gaby is no longer a journalist and she doesn't want to be an artist - and she doesn't want to be a full-time mother, even though her child Serena is her last link with Shepard.

Gaby's fire has gone out; she's gone soft. But the massive politival and military upheavals that are rocking the world are about to drag her back into action. Humanity has been changed by the alien invasion; now mankind is fighting new battles.

Cover blurb of Gollancz edition

Kirinya is a sequel to Chaga, set about 15 years after the events in that book. The main character, Gaby McAslan, is the same in both books although she has gone from an alert TV journalist to a drug-dependent mother who mostly feels tied down by her daughter.

As usual, the language is very good. Even without the plot (which is good), the novel would be worth reading for the language and the settings. The future Africe, in part heavily changed by the Chaga, that is described is a wonderful setting that I wouldn't mind returning to more times. There is plenty of uncovered ground left in this future, so it's possible to return here again.

You can read an extract from Kirinya on the Infinity Plus website.


  • Gollancz (hardcover)
    412 pages. £16.99. Cover by Mike Posen.
    ISBN 0-575-06077-8.
  • Millennium (paperback)
    412 pages. £6.99. Cover by Mike Posen.
    ISBN 1-857-98876-0.


  • German Kirinja
    Heyne. 604 pages. ISBN 3-453-17091-1.


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