Her First Reality Darkness

By Jodi Cleghorn

Publication date: 22/12/2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Sub Genres: Dystopia, Birthpunk
Paperback: 978-0-6486706-2-9
ePub: 978-0-6486706-3-6
Kindle ASIN: B082H55JFV
Pages: 194
Paperback: $23.99
eBook: $3.99


To face the place where our unknowing is the catalyst for destruction, this is the path of radical responsibility. ~ Alina

On the winter solstice, 51 years ago, snow bloomed red in Manhattan.

Six months later, a quiet epidemic sweeps the island on the hottest day in a century leaving less than 1% of the population clinging to a precarious existence.


Sylvie O’Brien has made a deal with The City’s most powerful Information Architect: Joseph will provide safe passage to the mainland in exchange for midwifery services for his wife. The only problem is natural birth is considered a crime against the state and Sylvie is only barely one step ahead of City authorities and the outlawed Deme.

In forgotten parts of the urban landscape, among those who have outlived their reproductive worth, Sylvie finds allies, enemies and the truth of her family’s involvement in the Red Bloom.

Can she survive long enough to experience a life beyond the damage of the past? Or is some trauma impossible to outrun and outlive?

Her First Reality, Darkness is the first book in The Birthpunk Constellation of eight interconnected novels.

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“Cleghorn throws down the gauntlet in this, the first volume of her birthpunk octet. Her imploding world, and the flight and fight of her gutsy, exhausted heroine, the midwife Sylvie, thematically replay the process of labour, its wonders, its terrors, its overwhelming power. Violent, bitter, glorious—I can’t wait to see where this series goes!”
— Margo Lanagan, multi-award winner, and author of Tender Morsels and Sea-Hearts.

“Cleghorn’s prose is as provocative, political, and powerful as ever in this eye-opening speculative take on reproductive realities. The first in a series of interconnected novels, Her First Reality, Darkness is an ‘endorphin bomb’ of a book.”
— Lee Murray, two-time Bram Stoker nominee, and author of Into the Mist.

“A poetic sci-fi thriller of birth and self-determination.”
— Rivqa Rafael, award winning co-editor of Mother of Invention.