Skinner Luce A Novel By Patricia Ward
Complex characters and taut, poignant writing highlight this hardened literary fantasy thriller set in the frigid winters of present-day Boston.

“Skinner was what servs called each other. It was because they were fake, their skins a disguise . . .”

Every year when the deep cold of winter sets in, unbeknownst to humanity, dangerous visitors arrive from another world. Disguised as humans, the Nafikh move among us in secret, hungry for tastes of this existence. Their fickle, often-violent needs must be accommodated at all times, and the price of keeping them satisfied is paid most heavily by servs.

Created by the Nafikh to attend their every whim, servs are physically indistinguishable from humans but for the Source, the painful, white-hot energy that both animates and enslaves them. Destined to live in pain, unable to escape their bondage, servs dwell in a bleak underworld where life is brutal and short.

Lucy is a serv who arrived as a baby and by chance was adopted by humans. She’s an outcast among outcasts, struggling to find a place where she truly belongs. For years she has been walking a tightrope, balancing between the horrors of her serv existence and the ordinary life she desperately longs to maintain; her human family unaware of her darkest secrets.

But when the body of a serv child turns up and Lucy is implicated in the gruesome death, the worlds she’s tried so hard to keep separate collide. Hounded by the police, turned upon by the servs who once held her dear, she must protect her family and the life she’s made for herself.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
TitleSkinner Luce
SubtitleA Novel
AuthorBy Patricia Ward
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
Published8 November 2016
Dimensions5.50 x 8.25in.

About the author

Patricia Ward was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, moving to the United States when she was eighteen. She is the author of the The Bullet Collection, an award-winning novel about two sisters growing up in wartime Beirut. Ward is also a book artist specializing in miniature books and dioramas. She lives with her family near Boston, Massachusetts.


A gut-punching novel, consistently taut and bleak. Readers will feel Lucy hanging on by her fingernails just beneath the human world and bloodied by every hard climb upward.”
Publishers Weekly

“A fiercely original premise carried to a logical and thought-provoking conclusion. . . . this unforgettable novel is sure to haunt readers long after they’ve turned the last page. Highly recommended.
SF Signal

“Ward's prose is expressive and often unexpectedly beautiful. . .High-caliber, often engrossing literary sci-fi.”
Kirkus Reviews

“A masterly written slowburner... Skinner Luce is a dark and beautiful dystopian hallucination that will keep you simultaneously cringing and wanting more. Lucy glows like an ember of rage and strength in search of personal liberation and redemption.”
—Seb Doubinsky, author of Song of Synth and Goodbye Babylon

"Skinner Luce paints a heroine who's more human than most in her fears and ambitions and who will grab your heart. This book will haunt you long after you put it down."
Omnivoracious, "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of January"

“A darkly clever concept with an oppressive atmosphere that never lets up.”
—Kit Whitfield, author of Benighted and In Great Waters
ISBNs: 9781940456676 978-1-940456-67-6 Title: skinner luce category:FIC 
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