Martin Vopěnka, whose books are often a combination of genre and literary fiction, is currently experiencing a very successful creative period. His previous sci-fi novel, The Fifth Dimension, was recently published in English and has received praise in both the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement. Vopěnka’s novels have also been translated into Russian, Arabic and Romanian. He studied nuclear physics, but since the 1990s has made his living as a publisher and writer. In his latest novel, Vopěnka focuses on societal inequality. The main character, twelve-year-old Daniel, grows up in a technically advanced but completely isolated civilisation, which is called New Planet. This dehumanised society is divided into the privileged and the unprivileged. The former pretend to have left Earth, but in reality they have only built an impenetrable wall around themselves. The privileged Daniel loves his three step-brothers without knowing they hate him. Due to their betrayal, one day he finds himself lying on a heap of corpses on the other side of the wall. There is no way back, so he has to fight for survival in the underdeveloped world outside. Soon he discovers the terrifying foundations the civilisation of the New Planet has been built on.
“New Planet is a remarkable bestiary of cruelty.”
— Petr A. Bílek, Respekt
“There are many novels about a desolate earth in world sci-fi. Vopěnka’s novel is valuable mainly because it forces us to ask questions. To what extent does a privileged group of people have the right to create a new world for themselves at the expense of billions of people from the old one?”
— Alena Slezáková, MF Dnes
“Vopěnka has created a work which matches the global best-sellers of the young adult genre.”
—Stanislav Šulc, E15