A single voice in the darkness stands alone against the fall of civilization, as a great new science fiction saga begins.
Probability Shadow, the first novel in Mark Laporta’s Against the Glare of Darkness trilogy, leads you into a new universe, where a critical mineral shortage pits imperious humans against every major political power. As their battles rage, the Quishiks re-emerge, an ancient evil with unprecedented control over time and space — which foretells the end of all sentient life. To stop this onslaught, Ambassador Ungent Draaf of Grashard must forge an unlikely alliance of misfits from across the galaxy’s entire political spectrum — a force of humans, symbiotes, mutants, androids and the ghostly remnants of a vanished civilization — and unite them in one seemingly impossible goal: to drive the conquering Quishiks back to their multidimensional prison and restore order to the galaxy.
In a universe dominated by great powers on the verge of collapse, and as the mistakes of the past become the legacy of the future, one question remains: will sentient life ever rise above the specter of evil?
“[Laporta’s] first venture into adult SF [is a] tale of a well-intentioned alien ambassador. Several species, including humans and androids, refuse to cooperate even against a mutual threat. Ambassador Ungent of Grashard understands that they have little reason to trust one another, but it falls to him and Shol, his streetwise ward, to unite them as part of an unorthodox strategy for survival against an ancient enemy who would enslave them….[T]he characters are solid and appealing, the time-displaced enemy is a constant looming shadow, and the common mistrust and its deadly consequences are frustratingly believable. Laporta’s strength is weaving those plots into a complexity that isn’t confusing, particularly when the species (including humans) are manipulated into damaging themselves. This is a good series opener for speculative readers who like tangled story lines in which solved problems reveal even greater challenges.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“Laporta’s skill with intricate world building is on full display in this first novel of a new trilogy…. He’s created an engrossing far-future reality of galaxy spanning civilizations, populated by multiple alien races … His imagination is impressive and establishes a delightful playground for the trilogy to explore.This is a political-intrigue story with aspects of military sf and some action sequences. The main character is a diplomat and the conflict is set off by a shortage of vital resources. It’s not the typical fast-paced plot one expects for this kind of setting; that alone makes Probability Shadow interesting… Laporta’s characters are compelling [and] the setup for the next book promises an even grander vision.”
“Themes of betrayal, the responsibility of creators, and consent and agency blend with a smashing SF world, populated with an incredibly diverse cast. If you enjoy good storytelling with unique characters, I highly recommend giving this novel a try. Probability Shadow contains a plethora of characters in all shapes, sizes, non-human races, genders, etc.,so each reader will find someone to be the entry point into Laporta’s world. To my surprise, I latched onto Ungent, a gigantic, lobster-like non-human, as my avatar into the story, and it wasn’t just because he is the first-introduced character. His dignity, pain over his failing marriage and loss of his daughter, love of fine dining, and firm belief in the equality of all life forms warmed me to him, and it didn’t hurt that, despite his age and large girth, Ungent continued to indulge in a spirit of adventure. … Mark Laporta’s writing balances a huge scope with engaging characters … [and] since turning the final page, I’ve realized the thematic depth woven into the space battles and extraterrestrial shenanigans. Probability Shadow combines the best of space opera and SF by giving readers an entertaining adventure that leaves something a little heavier to dwell on after the last enemy space ship has exploded into the vacuum. 4 Daring Space Trips Along the Fremdel Event Horizon out of 5!”
— Jodi Scaife, Fanbase Press