Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Song for a New Day” as Want to Read:
A Song for a New Day
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Song for a New Day

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  43 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
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Song for a New Day, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Song for a New Day

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  43 reviews

More filters
Sort order
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!!!
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
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
illegal concerts?? two queer women?? ok, i'm in


insta | twitter | blog | booksirens | duolingo
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
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!

Beth Cato
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2019, 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
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker is a near future dystopian cyberpunk speculative fiction novel (is that a redundant group of labels?) that centers women musicians and technology experts existing within an unjust society. This review will contain some information about the plot and characters, but I will attempt to keep it relatively spoiler free.

The story is told from the perspectives of two queer women: Luce, who is a musician and composer of what seems to be some amalgamation of rock mus
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Super interesting story and, if you contextualize into today's news and headlines, it very terrifyingly just may not be that far fetched. Which gave this book a very dark edge and an almost sinister undertone. And I don's say that in a bad way at all. I say that in a way that should make everyone want to read it. The author's ease and lightness of writing kept this from becoming too dark and made for a very thought provoking and enjoyable read. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with ...more
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A dystopian novel with a unique focus, almost entirely devoted to musical performance in a world where the government actively discourages large gatherings of any sort. Two events conspire to create that world: a series of seemingly random bombings at large events (e.g. sporting events and concerts), and a mysterious disease that is transmitted by physical contact.

The narrative follows two protagonists: Luce Cannon, a singer/songwriter whose career was just taking off before the big events (now
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
[Penguin Random House Canada sent me an ARC of ‘A Song for a New Day’ in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!]
After finishing this book I’m left kind of confused. On one hand, I found this story pretty interesting at times, but on the other hand, I just don’t think this has to have been close to 400 pages.
The description of being at a live concert is beautiful; It’s raw power, community and acceptance. I loved that. This story also had a pretty interesting dystopian setting (one that coul
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Fear of crowds was reasonable, too, or so she'd been taught. Crowds spread disease. Crowds concealed attackers. Crowds attracted the attention of people who might do you harm."

In the world After, it is illegal to congregate. So music concerts like in the world Before, couldn't take place. Instead, they are all virtual in a heightened 3D immersion type hologram system. But what about the little bands that aren't big enough? Well, they illegally play in underground clubs. These are the people Ros
listened on audio.
review to come.
Aug 06, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Read It Forward, I won an ARC.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm having a hard time deciding what I thought of this book. I started it on a weekend when several senseless killings (aren't they all?) took place less than 13 hours apart, so the topic and the driving plot element hit a little too close to home. I have thoughts on the writing style and how the plot develops, but they're jumbled together with the realization that I can totally see something like the totalitarian world it takes place in becoming a reality and I can't figure out how to express m ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review to follow.
Jill Elizabeth
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dark but oddly optimistic, I struggled to get into this one a little bit in the beginning but once it hit its stride I found it a wholly engaging, entertaining, scary, and all-too-possible vision of the future... Normally I prefer my books to be heavier on character development but this time I really enjoyed that the emphasis was as much on the setting and its implications as it was on the characters themselves.

Thanks to the now-defunct Penguin First to Read program for my copy.
Stewart Baker
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complementary copy of A Song for a New Day through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Song for a New Day follows two women tyring to discover (or rediscover) who they are and how they can make a difference in a worryingly plausible future where it's illegal to gather in groups of more than three or four people at a time. Luce Cannon, a singer who was briefly famous before the anti-congregration laws were put in place (In the "Before"), wants to push people out of their iso
Alexander Tas
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this review, and other Sci Fi/Fantasy reviews at The Quill To Live

As with a lot of people, music has played a defining role in my life. I never really played an instrument (fifth-grade trumpet does not count), but it was always there in the background guiding how I viewed the world. However, my tastes and attitudes in the past few years have changed greatly from my punk and power metal days of high school to a more individualized and private set list of artists scattered throughout Bandcamp
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's the end of the world but there's still music only you have to see it live by hologram since large gatherings are forbidden. In the "before" Luce Cannon was on the edge of music stardom but a series of terrorist attacks and a world wide plague put an end to that Now in the "after" Rosemary wants to revitalize Luce's career without selling out to the corporation or her ideals. A fun, interesting, plausible,
dystopian story about music with two lesbian protagonists, what could be better.
May 25, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
PW Starred: This excellent debut novel by Nebula winner Pinsker (after the collection Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea) establishes her as an astonishingly impressive writer of day-after-tomorrow SF. Band leader Luce Cannon is devoted to writing rock music and performing it live, even though threats of terrorism and disease have led Americans to retreat into solitude, connected only virtually. Rosemary Laws has grown up in impersonal, shallow isolation, but music awakens her, and sh ...more
I enjoyed this one, both for its fantastic descriptions of music (how it feels to see a live show, the power of a great song, the community) and for its timely warning about how a society can fracture and fall into isolation and mistrust due to blind belief and authority-stoked fear.

I would have liked Pinsker to expand a bit more on Luce's background growing up in a very closed community since it was a prescient allegory for the events to come. I also wanted to know what happened after the endi
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I was still involved in science fiction cons, I was a filker, so the idea of music and SF is natural to me. Although a different genre of music, this novel also seamlessly blends fiction and music. This is a dysopia, which I tend to steer away from with what's going on in the real world, but it's not a dystopian world built on political greed and power, but rather on fear. This story is follows people working to overcome their fear.
Galleywampus -
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever been to a live concert, this book's emotional core will speak to you.
Aleks (bluechairbooklist)
Hot on the heels of a collection of short works, science fiction author and rockstar Sarah Pinsker dives headfirst into the dystopian future where human connection is at an all-time premium. In the Before, Luce Cannon has just started out on her band’s tour when terrorist attacks necessitate total societal lock-down and a migration to StageHolo, an VR experience with a distinctly Amazon-esque flavor, covering everything from school to menial jobs to delivery to huge entertainment events. Rosemar ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
A book that explores a really interesting concept.

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

A Song for a New Day takes a fascinating--and at times haunting--look at a future in which the threat of mass danger, from bombs to shootings, has become so large that large public gatherings have been banned and are now illegal. There are 'congregation' laws that limit how many people can be in one place at a time and that regulate the size a building must be in concordance with how many people liv
Reviewer The Brown Bookloft
Summary: Due to a rash of bombings and shootings that killed thousands of people, the government passed the congregation laws. Public gatherings of more than two or three people in an area are prohibited. This changed the way restaurants and hotels function. Large office buildings are sometimes completely abandoned. There are no more movie theaters or concert venues. Traditional stores can no longer operate and have been subsumed into a huge, automated center called Superwally, that provides dro ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2-reviewer-copy, 2019
A Song for a New Day is set in a world where public gatherings are illegal and, the only way to enjoy music and sports, is through the virtual systems of StageHolo. A virus destroyed part of the world's population and people prefer to stay home, get things delivered using drones, or drive in self-driving cars if they must commute. This is a world where the kids go to online schools and real life is in the Hoodspace.

We meet Luce Cannon, an artist who was there Before the laws changed. She was to
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I *loved* this book. I couldn't put it down -- evidenced by the fact that I bought it yesterday on my lunch break and today on my lunch break I'm writing this review. I've admired the author's short stories for years, and I love that her first novel is such a stunner (for the record, I do know the author, but I bought this book with my own money because this kind of thing is my jam).

I'm a sucker for a good dual-POV book, especially one like this that takes place in a semi-mysterious Before and
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book just might be my favorite of the year (so far). It combines relevant issues with the power of music. And not just the power of music, our inherent need for music and the connection it can bring.

Sarah Pinsker has created a thoughtful commentary on a potential future without dwelling on the horrific events that led to that future. If you've lived through the events of September 11, 2001 or any other mass tragedy (and even if you haven't), you can relate to this book. You can't help but
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »