Dark Space

US Edition - E-book   Commonwealth Edition: pbk, ebook


Amazon UK: pbk

Amazon UK: kindle

Open Road Media: E-book (USA only)


2007 Aurealis Awards shortlist for Best Science Novel

2008 Ditmar shortlist for Best Novel

BSFA nominee 2008


TTA Press (Interzone). “It’s always a joy to find intelligent and exciting space opera; to find it being written by a woman unafraid to bring her own perspective to a traditionally masculine genre, doubly so.”

‘..the colourful characters and sense of scale suggest the series could develop into something special.’ Times Literary Supplement.

‘…de Pierres (Nylon Angel) presents an engaging space opera with plenty of action. Sheltered baronessa Mira Fedor, a minor noble of the mining planet Araldis, expects to become the first female pilot of the royal fleet’s AI command ship. She instead finds herself on the run from the Principe, who wants to tear away her piloting skills and give them to his son, Trinder Pellegrini. When playboy Trin enrages his father and is banished to a meaningless desk job, he uncovers machinations related to the family’s mines that may be connected with a burgeoning alien invasion. Playing with the time line, de Pierres creates an absorbing story as the consequences and actions resolve to show her grand design. Twists and hints will keep readers eagerly awaiting the next volumes.Publishers Weekly

“Modern SF at its very best. A worthy successor to Arthur C Clarke, and thoroughly believable.” – Gateway Monthly

“..an exciting story well told…and the decadent, futuristic, Italianate, misogynist culture of Araldis has many of its own peculiar fascinations.” Starburst

“De Pierres provides a strong feminist perspective in another ambitious Australian SF novel.” Canberra Times

“Dark Space could probably be classed as space opera, because it takes place over a huge distance and, I am beginning to suspect, a fairly large timeframe as well. A hard-hitting story, it avoids techno-babble in the best tradition of good scifi: the technology is simply there, and is generally only mentioned only in passing – there are no elaborate explanations, no info-dumps, to get in the way of a cracking pace and elaborate, elegant story. The Sentients of Orion is definitely a series to watch.” Asif

“Where the Parrish Plessis series was compared to Dark Angel and Mad Max, Dark Space is more like Babylon Fivebut with claws and genitalia….This is space opera supreme: a large cast of colourful multi-race creatures embroiled in an ever deepening mystery, yet engagingly mired in their own ambitions and peccadilloes.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Part Dune, part Gateway, part Alien, Marianne’s new series looks like one to continue reading.” SFF World

“In Dark Space, Marianne de Pierres has drawn a vast cast of characters, but the skill with which she has done so, providing them with depth and breadth without verbosity, and the fascinating relationships she has created between them, mean the reader can be drawn deeply into the world, surfacing only now and then to take a deep breath, then dive right back in. I can’t wait for the next instalment!” – Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine

“De Pierres’ writes in a slick, fast paced style, spinning off clever science fiction ideas as she goes and juggling her large cast of characters with much skill…check out Dark Space if you want an intelligent, thrilling, universe spannig read.” The Bayside Bulletin

“Marianne de Pierres had done it again. She has created a kick arse science fiction/space opera story, which I can only describe as ‘seat of the pants’ reading… Dark Space is deeply satisfying on many levels. De Pierres brings to it an original voice and pacy writing that leaves you panting for more.”  Specusphere

“Marianne builds a rich and believable society on Araldis (with little nods to classic such as Frank Herbert’s Dune) and then tears it apart as vicious alien creatures are used for a shock invasion. The story moves very swiftly from the political intriguing in the power circles of Araldis to a violent struggle for survival, in which no character is safe… this did exactly what the first book of a new series should do, it pulled the reader into a well-developed new setting, introduced characters and situations and then left you hankering to know what happens next. And Marianne does all this without resorting to the 700 page brick some writers might have opted for (thank you, Marianne), so this is a perfect book to take with your on your summer holiday travels. Highly recommended.”  –Forbidden Planet

“This is a serious modern space opera, grappling with big themes and painting on a broad canvas with a great eye for detail, and readers of simple spaceship adventure stories may wish to pass this title by. On the other hand readers who hunger for perceptive, intelligent, unflinching science fiction should seek this out as soon as possible. If the sequels to Dark Space live up to the promise of this opening salvo, de Pierres will be come a serious challenge to the big boys of the genre.” – Hub Magazine

“The set up for the next book is gripping.” – Jon Courtenay Grimwood, SFX

The Sunday Age and The West Australian newspapers have this to say: “Space opera is the sub-genre of Star Trek, and also Iain M.Banks’ science fiction. It can be popular adventure, Hornblower in space, or thought-explorations of imaginary societies. Sometimes it can be both. Brisbane author Marianne de Pierres’ future society resembles Renaissance Italy and begins with the premise that a being so highly evolved as to be termed “God” has been discovered in space. Naturally, everyone wants what they can possibly extract from the deity, who may have its own agenda. De Pierres mingles three plotlines and three protagonists. There are spoilt Italianate aristocrats, about to receive a sharp lesson in how their society operates. De Pierres does good, strong heroines, and also action sequences. Add a mining planet that reads like the Pilbara gone feral, and disgusting invading aliens, and we have here the first in a series of novels. It mingles science with Machiavellian intrigue, vivid scene-setting with childcare.” Lucy Sussex, Melbourne Age

The Courier Mail says: “Queensland-based writer Marianne de Pierres has woven together a sci-fi pastiche that has its own flavour. Dark Space is particularly impressive in the way that it manages to compress a cast of utterly unidentifiable alien characters, a hugely convoluted plot and some rather lofty metaphysical musings into a compelling read.”

“…Dark Space is a rich and vigorous adventure.” The Australian

“This is terrific stuff: beautifully written, majestic, cunning, disquieting.” – Orb Magazine

“Dark Space is well-paced, precisely written, and now I’m hanging out to read the next two books. I guess I’ll have to consider what I might be willing to do in order to get my hands on them…” Antipodean SF

“Marianne de Pierres is quickly making a name for herself as a ‘Girls with Guns’ novelist who takes no prisoners, and she is laying down the foundations for a vast space opera in Dark Space…De Pierres’ subject matter is comparable with many of the great religious tomes and is executed by many short bustling narratives bursting to get out. it is a cocktail of Baisemoi meets Tricia Sullivan…”  – Aurealis Express

‘…a rollicking space opera…’ Adelaide Advertiser

“Dark Space is an exciting adventure with plenty going on to keep you turning the pages…Marianne has a knack for creating compelling characters in complex realities – the Parrish Plessis novels showed us that – so this is one to watch as it develops through the next two volumes.”  Aurealis Magazine

‘Marianne de Pierres has proven once more that there is high quality science fiction out there. And she has endeavoured to be original without resorting to the entirely unrecognisable. Excellent reading!’ A Writer Goes On a Journey

‘Marianne de Pierres is one of the best sci-fi, urban fantasy authors I have come across. De Pierres’ writing is very accessible and makes reading an enjoyable and extremely entertaining read for audiences of all ages, from YA to adults. If you have never read any of de Pierres’ books, this would be a great series to begin with; although the Parrish Plessis books are definitely brilliant novels that I am surprised haven’t been made into big budget movies yet. Dark Space is the first in a Space Opera trilogy that opens with a humble beginning, and an unassuming character of a drunken fool of a pilot. The pilot discovers what many people spend their entire lives looking for; a divine entity, or God. This entity has been trying to communicate with humans but can’t seem to achieve it.
As with previous de Pierres’ novels, there are a number of stories within the main story that are intertwined and come together throughout the course of the novel … Can’t wait to see where this leads mankind as it always seems that the people chosen for this sort of task are never the right ones… The Fringe