• A House Between Earth and the Moon

  • A Novel
  • By: Rebecca Scherm
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Compulsively readable.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Inventive and thrilling. . . . I couldn’t put it down.” —Brit Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

“It’s a thrill to read this novel.” —Jia Tolentino, New York Times bestselling author of Trick Mirror

The gripping story of one scientist in outer space, another who watches over him, the family left behind, and the lengths people will go to protect the people and planet they love

For twenty years, Alex has believed that his gene-edited super-algae will slow and even reverse the effects of climate change. His obsession with his research has jeopardized his marriage, his relationships with his kids, and his own professional future. When the Son sisters, founders of the colossal tech company Sensus, offer him a chance to complete his research, he seizes the opportunity. The catch? His lab will be in outer space on Parallaxis, the first-ever luxury residential space station built for billionaires. Alex and six other scientists leave Earth and their loved ones to become Pioneers, the beta tenants of Parallaxis.

But Parallaxis is not the space palace they were sold. Day and night, the embittered crew builds the facility under pressure from Sensus, motivated by the promise that their families will join them. At home on Earth, much of the country is ablaze in wildfires and battered by storms. In Michigan, Alex’s teenage daughter, Mary Agnes, struggles through high school with the help of the ubiquitous Sensus phones implanted in everyone’s ears, archiving each humiliation, and wishing she could go to Parallaxis with her father—but her mother will never allow it.

The Pioneers are the beta testers of another program, too: Sensus is designing an algorithm that will predict human behavior. Katherine Son hires Tess, a young social psychologist, to watch the experiment’s subjects through their phones—including not only the Pioneers, but Katherine’s sister, Rachel. Tess begins to develop an intimate, obsessive relationship with her subjects. When Tess and Rachel travel to Parallaxis, the controlled experiment begins to unravel.

Prescient and insightful, A House Between Earth and the Moon is at once a captivating epic about the machinations of big tech and a profoundly intimate meditation on the unmistakably human bonds that hold us together.

©2022 Rebecca Scherm (P)2022 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Rebecca Scherm is a treasure of a novelist: searching, inventive, her scope both everyday and expansive, her work marked by a tender but merciless psychological acuity. In A House Between Earth and the Moon, she has the near future—or the present—of perpetual emergency firmly within her grasp. It’s a thrill to read this novel, which punctures, urgently and humanely, the technocrat fantasy that space might save us; it brilliantly vivifies the terrors of love and surveillance and ambition, the dream and impossibility of escape." (Jia Tolentino, New York Times best-selling author of Trick Mirror)

A House Between Earth and the Moon is a compelling, urgent book. I couldn't put it down. Rebecca Scherm brilliantly, and with such heart and tenderness, imagines a frightening future for our planet and our flawed, complicated species, and the worlds she imagines are so vivid, and feel so real I wondered if she owns a crystal ball. I loved these characters and their struggles and desires, and I rooted for them, and worried about them, and I can’t stop thinking about them. This is a remarkable novel.” (Edan Lepucki, New York Times best-selling author of California)

“I loved A House Between Earth and the Moon—a smart, propulsive, sharply observed psychological novel set in a convincingly detailed near future, as well as an insightful examination of how rapid advances in communication technology can inadvertently render us indecipherable to each other.” (Dexter Palmer, author of Version Control)

What listeners say about A House Between Earth and the Moon

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

incoherent

The author presents a future dystopian world where the temperature periodically rises to above 130 F, killing people by the tens of thousands. A pair of Korean sisters own a mega company 'Census', which has provided an in-brain smart phone which almost all have implanted, and everybody can see everybody and everything. This device includes a 'dashboard' running constantly with information, someplace in the phone user' awareness, somehow, A space station is being built to house billionaires so they can escape the planetary misery, the initial construction to be done by a small group of 'pioneers'. One woman pioneer is secretly assigned to create an algorithm by watching everything the other pioneers see -their ' views'-she has some sort of special access to their brains - the goal being the ability to predict what people will do before they decide to do it. This ability when let loose on the world will enable Census to stop murders and suicides before they happen.

Much of this future world is left as vague as it is presented here, The 'Phone' , and the 'Views' are never made understandably real to the reader, Thus the narrative suffers since these two entities are principle characters in the story.
Also, since the world is coming, apparently, to a possible end, what would be the point in preventing a few murders and suicides? Certainly something more global would be a better focus of the world's biggest corporation

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointing ending

The story was great, but the ending was... not. Worth the listen, but I wish the ending had been better.