Thomas, a young genius with a power to read minds, has just learned that his debilitating disease is the least of his worries. A conquering alien civilization offers him a choice: Join us or die.
One of Thomas's unknown parents was a Torth, which makes him a unique Torth hybrid. The Torth are a human-related species that use their mind reading power to ruthlessly conquer and enslave aliens, absorbing technological knowledge and expanding their Empire. As a Torth, Thomas can mentally escape his disease by ascending into the hive mind ... but his human friends will be worked to death in an alien slave ghetto.
Intent on rescuing them, Thomas gains authority as a Torth. But rescue plans seem impossible in a city ruled by mind readers. While his friends take increasing risks to survive, Thomas struggles with his own dilemma: The only way to save his friends is to abandon his godlike Torth status and allow himself to feel emotions, pain, and loneliness again. His mutant disease is killing him, his friends no longer trust him, and the Torth will hunt them to the ends of the universe. Still, Thomas has one advantage. He has the rare super-genius mutation, and he might have absorbed enough knowledge to fight back.
CITY OF SLAVES is complete at 100,000 words (approximately 400 pages in paperback). The first five books in this series are complete, with the final one in progress. Abby Goldsmith is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop, with stories and articles sold to Escape Pod, Fantasy Magazine, and Suddenly Lost in Words.
Torth lack emotions. They don't have names. They have unlimited access to all the knowledge in the galaxy. The Torth believe themselves to be superior to all other life forms, and they're powerful enough to convince everyone that they're right. Their quadrillions of slaves worship them as gods. Trained from birth to suppress envy, passion, lust, and other emotions, the Torth have a standard of living unparalleled by any other civilization ... but they dare not enjoy it.
Sick of shock collars, torture, and lifetimes of ignorance, quadrillions of slaves are desperate to rebel against the Torth. When a handful of collared humans arrive in the slave ghetto of one city, most slaves suspect that the humans are actually Torth in disguise, due to their uncanny resemblance to mind readers. The humans take risks to prove that they can't read minds and are fully slaves. In the process, they also prove that Torth are mortal ... and freedom is possible.
The Torth series caters to a wide audience. Readers most often compare the series to Dune, Ender's Game, and The Wheel of Time series, in terms of scope. It's most often classified as science fiction, but it could be called science fantasy, and it can appeal to a young adult and new adult audience, as well as adult readers.
Torth Book 5 is finished, and I can't wait to write the final book in this series! I'm always eager for fresh beta readers, so if you're interested, please shoot me an email.
Read the prologue
Check out the illustrated cast of characters
View more Torth artwork