The ferryman


Life on the island archipelago of Prospera is everything a person could hope for. Founded by the mythical genius known as the Designer, Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, vigorous, and fulfilling lives – that is, until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. When that happens, they retire themselves, embarking on a short ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh. Proctor Bennett, Managing Director of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding the elderly through the retirement process – and, when necessary, enforcing it.

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‘Next to impossible to put down . . . exciting, mysterious, and totally satisfying.’


The islands of Prospera lie in a vast ocean: in splendid isolation from the rest of humanity, or whatever remains of it. . .

Citizens of the main island enjoy privileged lives, attended to by the support staff who live on a cramped neighbouring island, where whispers begin to grow into cries for revolution.

Meanwhile, life for Prosperans is perfection – and when it’s not, their bodies are sent to the mysterious third island: a facility named The Nursery, to be rebooted and restart life afresh.

Proctor Bennett is a Ferryman, who shepherds the soon-to-be retired into the unknown. He never questioned his work until the day he is delivered a cryptic message:

“The world is not the world…”

These simple words unravel something that he has secretly suspected. They seep into strange dreams – of the stars and the sea – and the unshakeable feeling that someone is trying to tell him something important.

Something greater than anyone could possibly imagine, which could change the fate of humanity itself…


‘A mind-bending novel full of big ideas and a rollercoaster’s worth of twists and turns – so powerful and thrilling!’
ANDY WEIR, author of The Martian

Additional information

Weight 0.82 kg
Dimensions 24 × 16.4 × 5 cm










Hardback original


813.6 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K