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A Song for a New Day

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,877 ratings  ·  498 reviews
In this captivating science fiction novel from an award-winning author, public gatherings are illegal making concerts impossible, except for those willing to break the law for the love of music, and for one chance at human connection.

In the Before, when the government didn't prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just ta
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Berkley
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,877 ratings  ·  498 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
Power of music could never be defeated, silenced, destroyed even at the apocalyptic world threatened by full of terrorist attacks that prevent people gather at the outside to share their joy, spirit, excitement, fun, entertainment, laughs at the open concert arenas.

There are so many amazing quotes emphasizes the importance of music in modern people’s lives as listed below:

“Where words leave off, music begins”

“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of the spirit and never dies.”

“So whe
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
“How did they stand it? Shoulder to shoulder, front to back with total strangers, with their heat and their odors. No clue if any of them had some new superbug, if a single sneeze might endanger the entire room. No clue if someone had a knife or a gun or a vendetta. If even one person panicked, the whole room would try to squeeze up that tiny staircase. People would be crushed. There were laws against this, laws to prevent gatherings like this one.”

It is a pre-pandemic Nebula-winning book, w
***Winner of the 2019 Nebula Award for Best Novel***

Reality has caught up with this 2019 science-fiction novel.

In the near future the United States are going into lockdown mode after several bombings and the spreading of a virus has lead to a huge number of deaths. Anti-congregation laws are established, schools and businesses are closed, and the people are encouraged to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

From two different POVs we see how people are trying to cope with the new normal. O
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sci fi dystopian novel featuring music? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I loved this fascinating and original premise. A Song for a New Day, no surprise with that title, features music. Luce Cannon is at the top of her game when large public gatherings are allowed during the “Before” because everyone artist knows concerts help sell music.

But now it’s the After, and viral outbreaks, as well as mass shootings and terror attacks, have caused the government to ban concerts.

That doesn’t stop Luce, though. She performs
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-physical, 2019
Sarah Pinsker has written a captivating dystopian/speculative fiction story that prominently features music. While this is not my usual genre it blends two of my favorite things music and books, and I loved it! Pinsker’s Love and appreciation for music especially live music comes across loud and clear in this story. Luce Cannon(Got to love that name) is a musician on the way to the top when the government calls for a halt to all live concerts. Not only concerts but most large social gatherings h ...more
Charlie Anders
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read an early copy of A Song for a New Day a while ago, and it's stuck with me. This vision of a world without live music (and without real community) feels extra relevant in an era where we're all glued to our screens and social media is all about driving "engagement" rather than creating real connection with each other. Pinsker's characters feel real and grounded, and the stories of being a touring musician and a talent scout for a VR concert company are full of really we ...more
You can feel Pinsker's love for music and touring bleed through the pages of this book.
She described the moments so well you could practically smell the sweat in the venues!
This was fabulous!!!
Giant thank you to Sarah Pinsker for my signed ARC received at BookCon; It was a joy to meet you!!!
In the near future, the USA is a very different place. After a spate of bombings and the outbreak of a deadly virus known colloquially as 'the pox', public gatherings are forbidden. Live concerts and sport are things of the past. It becomes more common to study, work and socialise in virtual reality, and many young people never leave their homes. 24-year-old Rosemary is one of them, but she's becoming restless. When she's blown away by a virtual concert organised by a company called StageHolo, R ...more
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
In a dystopian world where public gatherings have been made illegal, one woman raises her voice to stand up for the power of music, art, and human connection. A beautiful story that will definitely speak to the heart!

I am one of those rare people who, although I absolutely like music, don’t tend to listen to it much. I’m usually listening to audiobooks or podcasts! But even I can say there is something about music and having that in common with another person that can be magical. Often, I find t
Oleksandr Zholud
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: hn-2020-longlist
This is a near future slightly dystopian debut novel by Sarah Pinsker. The author was nominated each year since 2013 for Nebula for shorter works and won a few. This book was nominated for Nebula in 2020 and I read is as a part of monthly reading for March 2020 at SFF Hot from Printers: New Releases group.

This is a story of our near future. After several awful terrorist attacks and a deadly pandemics, people try not to contact physically, and there is a generation that grew up in a virtual worl
Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it
In Pinsker’s near-future character study A Song for a New Day, public gatherings have been outlawed after a series of devastating terrorist attacks. This brings an end to live music shows, legally speaking, so StageHolo arrives to fill the void. Users wear a Hoodie to “attend” pre-recorded shows in virtual reality Hoodspace, which begs the question: how do these bands get discovered in the first place? Enter Rosemary Laws – green thumbed, good-hearted, naïve-minded, and StageHolo’s newest talent ...more
I fell in love with Sarah Pinsker's story of a post-epidemic, frightened world where people congregating together, whether for work or play, was illegal. The two main characters, Luce and Rosemary, have very different reactions to the situation. Luce, a musician, remembers a world where she performed all over the country, and loved the connection she felt with her audience and the high she got from performing. Rosemary, much younger, has never known a world where people were together in numbers, ...more
illegal concerts?? two queer women?? ok, i'm in


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The Captain
Jun 08, 2020 added it
Shelves: sci-fi
Did this book deserve to win the Nebula?

Ahoy there me mateys!  The title of me post is not meant to be click bait but I am still not going to change it because it captures the conflicted feelings of the moment.  I just finishing reading the 2020 Nebula winner and I am not sure of how I rate this one.  Maybe writing me thoughts out will clarify things.

I previously read some of the author's short fiction including “The Court Magician” (Hugo nominated 2019), “The Blur in the Corner of Your Eye” (Hu
Jun 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A musician copes with the effects of terrorism and a pandemic; she tries to heal the resulting dystopia through her music.

My ebook version was a moderate 380 pages. It had a 2019 US copyright.

Sarah Pinsker is an American author of science fiction and fantasy short stories. She is also a musician. This is her first novel. It won the 2019 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Note, I thought the field to be a meager lot. This is the first story I've read by the author.

Generally fiction with music as a plot
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Luce Cannon's music career is taking off with her song "Blood and Diamonds".  She's touring with a great band and loves playing live and winning over new audiences every night.

Then everything changes.  Terror attacks send the U.S. into a panic and then comes a deadly virus that spreads quickly.  The government steps in to enact congregation laws banning large public gatherings.  People begin to live their lives without human contact, living and working online in Hoodspace (a hoodie is worn to co
Sherwood Smith
Mar 15, 2020 added it
Shelves: sf
Unnervingly prescient, especially through the third to the halfway point, before a jump in time (toward a cultural situation that is all too believable). It's the kind of science fiction I love most, character-driven, looking at social and cultural change as a result of political/economic/climate/pandemic incidents, plus a dose of terrorism.

The politics is painted with a very broad brush, which I appreciated. I am too old to enjoy monolithic Big Brother governments in fiction; the terrorism fel
Slapdash world-building, cliched characters, and leaden pacing all meant this promising scenario just did not work for me at all.

Pinsker clearly wants to say something about the power of live music and performance but everything in this book feels so phony and didactic and just...uncool. Like a bad movie from the '80s. (Rosemary is clearly the character with the bad perm, the bell-bottomed jeans, and an excessive closeness to her parents). As someone with lots of friends who make music for a li
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Songsmiths and hikikomori
Recommended to Alan by: The author's prose, via Goodreads
She hadn't realized music could reach inside you.

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker freakin' rocked. But... explaining why could be complicated.

At first, you see, I didn't really buy the premise. In Pinsker's dystopian America, so-called "congregation laws"—passed somehow in direct contravention of the Constitution—prohibit any public gatherings of more than twenty people. I had a hard time believing that things could deteriorate that much. But... sometime in the not-too-distant future,
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: available
3*s IMO, this was interesting at times. I love music-all kinds of music, but this book pretty much had a one note(totally unintentional, but ha anyway) point that kept banging you on the head. The author writes well, but needed to say more or have more happen to justify the length of this novel
CW: multiple mass casualty events including a virus caused pandemic; on page panic attack representation.

I remember discovering the author’s name during the Baltimore book festival but I never got to attend the panel that she was in. However, I did find out about this debut novel of hers and seeing such high praise for it immediately put it on my radar. I probably would have waited for a bit longer to read it because I’m an expert at procrastination, but when this was nominated for the Nebula a
Peter Tillman
Near-future music-themed dystopia that starts out well, but my interest is fading at about 200 pp. in, and I'm likely to DNF it. The review to read is Blair's,
Her reactions are close to mine. 2.5 stars (or so) to where I DNF'd it, rounded down. The story: well, read Blair's. I just lost interest, put it down, and had no real interest in going on. Life is short....
She may just not have had enough material for a novel. Lots of other readers liked the book.
Jessica Mae Stover
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
There's no reason why you shouldn't read this book, especially if you're tired of how bigoted most more-read scifi is, and are looking for diverse representation, which this book offers with its whole heart.

If you're a reader who enjoyed A Song, but at the same time couldn't quite put your finger on why it wasn't a minor or major triumph, what you're sensing is:

- the literary technique is flat
- there are no challenging ideas herein

That's also likely why some commenters here have sensed that this
I quite enjoyed reading A SONG FOR A NEW DAY. The story takes place in the future after a sickness kills a lot of people, and a new law goes into effect where people are not allowed to congregate. Luce
Cannon headlined the last concert of any real size before the new law and had been headed to the top of the music scene. Luce begins to perform in illegal concerts. It is time for the country to change!

Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: Sarah Pinsker’s love of music shines through in this wonderful debut, where two women might just have enough moxie between them to change the world.

I suppose you could call A Song for a New Day dystopian fiction, but it’s unlike any dystopian I’ve ever read. This story is full of hope, and even better, it’s full of hopeful ch
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
A Song for a New Day is my fifth piece of pandemic reading, and honestly the one I was most excited to pick up. It depicts a world on permanent lockdown due to terrorism and a pandemic. Corporations have taken advantage of this situation, and actively suppress efforts to reopen society. For the protagonists, those efforts come in the form of music. As a piece of speculative fiction, A Song for a New Day has some impressive and uncomfortable hits. As a piece of literature, A Song for a New Day ea ...more
Beth Cato
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley, science
I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.

I'm a big fan of Sarah Pinsker's work. I adored her collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea and have been genuinely excited that her first novel would be inspired by her fantastic novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." The book absolutely lived up to my high expectations.

Pinsker's science fiction is eerily plausible: a near-future world where a series of terrorist attacks and illness with high mortality have led to laws again
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hugo2019-reading
I found myself firmly awake at 3:30 AM, I said, OK, let's read a few more pages of "A Song For A New Day."

Aaaaanyway, at 5:30 AM I had finished the book...

It's a fantastic book.

I love Pinsker's short stories, but had no idea what to expect from novel-length.
I think that instead of writing a "bigger" or "longer" story, she's written a *deeper* one.
So much of the story is just being immersed in what drives Luce and Rosemary.

And, with music and creation as a focal point, the story explores issues t
Kris Sellgren
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This “what if” science fiction novel starts from the premise that all public gatherings have been banned, after terrorist attacks (both bombs and a deadly virus) have devastated the US. Both school and work move on-line. Live music and sports become virtual. The author draws on her own experience as a rock musician touring and playing small venues to imagine an underground music scene where the act of playing for a crowd is not just a challenge to corporate America but is illegal. The descriptio ...more
Fábio Fernandes
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, 2019
The best novel I read in 2019.
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