Poor Man’s Sky

The Rich Man’s Sky Series, Book 2

(Baen Books, January 2023, ISBN 978-1-9821-9234-1)

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Who owns the future? Homicide detective Raimy Vaught is a losing contestant in the biggest reality show ever: the colonization of Mars. Brother Michael is a Benedictine monk who just wants to help the future happen. Andrei Bykhovski is an asteroid miner desperately escaping indentured servitude. Bridget Tobin is a hydroponic farmer studying the greenhouses of Luna. But when a fellow Mars contestant drops dead at a Lunar monastery, these four souls will find themselves on a collision course with forces far beyond the control of trillionaires or nation states. As labor disputes erupt across cislunar space, the actions of individual people will determine whose future will prevail… and whose will perish.


  • Prometheus Award Winning Series


“Full bore show-your-work SF and a tense lunar mystery! A thrilling read.”—Max Gladstone, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author

“Wil McCarthy’s skill at crafting a believable, deeply science-grounded future is on full display. He brings us the mother of all locked-room mysteries wrapped in a vision of lunar colonization that rings a bit more true than we might be comfortable with. Small, gritty moments of inspired futurism pepper Poor Man’s Sky and remind us that no matter where we go, our human nature follows.”—Kimberly Unger, author of The Extractionist and Nucleation

“Expertly told, with a proper, good old-fashioned (and satisfyingly resolved) murder mystery at its heart. Great characters, rigorous science, and a grittily plausible vision of the coming wave of interplanetary exploration and settlement. It’s fun, gripping and thought-provoking.” –Alastair Reynolds

“McCarthy’s writing is prescient and engaging. Always a great read!” –Tim Akers

“Highly Recommended!” –Eneasz Brodski, deathisbadblog.com

“Series fans will enjoy the depth McCarthy adds to this world.” –Publisher’s Weekly

“An exciting near-future science fiction novel with a hint of mystery and danger. The book’s dramatic opening leads to a deeper mystery after a person is found murdered on the moon. The story is told through a collection of materials, including transcripts, letters, and traditional narratives. The scrapbook style lends an extra air of believability to the book’s hard science fiction, with its concern about airlocks and rockets.” –Library Journal

“This book was absolutely fantastic. The writing style is gripping and engaging, [and] the science is very plausible, with a heavy focus on the dangers and isolation of space. Halfway through the second chapter, I was absolutely hooked, and then I just flew through the book. If you like real-world, plausible science fiction, you’ve got to check out POOR MAN’S SKY, an absolutely awesome book. The next book is going to be absolutely fascinating; I guarantee you I will be reading it.” –10-Minute Reviews

“Intriguing [and] historically apt. Hasten to read this one. – Nerds of a Feather

“State of the art near future SF. The mystery runs deep, and the suspense and danger run high. A stellar example of the SF-mystery hybrid genre.” – Paul Di Filippo, Locus