During the Alaskan gold rush, a woman pursues a destiny that will change the world in this alternate-history novel from a sci-fi legend.
In the tradition of Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land), multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner Joe Haldeman set a new standard for military science fiction and hard sci-fi with The Forever War and his phenomenal Worlds series. Now the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master dabbles brilliantly in alternate-history fiction with the world-altering adventures of a remarkable woman during the gold rush in late nineteenth-century Alaska.
Sent from her Georgia home to Philadelphia to escape the carnage of the Civil War, Rosa Coleman studied astronomy and mathematics, ultimately settling into a new life as the wife of a wealthy man and mother of young Daniel. But when she discovers an unforgiveable secret about her reprobate husband, Rosa takes the boy and flees to the West on a desperate escape that takes them from Dodge City to San Francisco one step ahead of the Pinkertons hired to bring them back home.
On the run in a strange and exhilarating new world, Rosa and Daniel find a haven where they might never be found: the wilds of Alaska among the dreamers drawn to its magnificent wilderness by the promise of gold. It is here that her spiritual guide first appears to Rosa in the form of a raven—an incarnation of the trickster god of Native American and Eskimo lore—suggesting that her destiny lies not in sparkling riches but in something far greater. This mystical harbinger has come from a distant, alien place, and will set her on an astonishing course . . .
A magnificent blending of historical and speculative fiction, Joe Haldeman’s Guardian is a breathtaking departure for the author whom Peter Straub calls “one of our most aware, comprehensive, and necessary writers” and David Brin praises as “one of the best prophetic writers of our times.”