The Highest Frontier (Mass Market Paperback)

The Highest Frontier Cover Image
Email or call for price
Special Order


In the 22nd Century, Jennifer Kennedy, the shy and tongue-tied counterpoint to her charismatic brother Jordi, is left stunned when Jordi drowns in a flood brought on by advanced climate change. Bereft and fearful, Jenny departs Earth to enter her freshman year at Frontera College, based in the world’s first permanent and self-sustaining space habitat.

In a future when the deadly microbes that caused AIDS and anthrax have been modified to power elevators and cure disease, Jenny just wants to study and play slanball in peace. But as the endless war on the ultraphyte, an invasive alien organism, rages on, Jenny begins to notice that things aren’t quite right—not with her socially disabled roommate, nor at the college, nor in American politics. An accidental discovery reveals that “ultra” has infiltrated to shocking levels of society. Reluctant as she is to enter the spotlight, Jenny must step up to save her school, her country, and the world.

About the Author

JOAN SLONCZEWSKI lives in Gambier, Ohio and chairs the department of biology at Kenyon College.

Praise For…

Praise for The Highest Frontier:


"This hip, smart tip of the hat to Heinlein's young adult novels hits all the right notes. It's got a plausible near future, optimism, savvy characters who move into action swiftly. This novel takes us to a place we haven't been in a long timeand I, for one, miss a lot.”
Gregory Benford, author of Timescape 


"And as you might expect from a scientist/novelist, the book is filled with all sorts of technical innovations…this in the story of Jenny Ramos Kennedy, a gifted high school athlete who’s lost her genetically engineered twin brother and is trying to make the best of her first year at college. And wouldn’t you know it, unlike most of our freshman years, this delightfully brilliant novel has the future of Earth hanging in the balance."
All Things Considered, NPR

"[The] first novel in a decade from a respected author of hard SF (A Door into Ocean, The Children Star) brings out the complexities and anguish of the teen years while portraying a bold community of the future with all its strengths and weaknesses…. SF fans of all ages should enjoy this glimpse into a possible future at once disturbing and exciting by a graceful storyteller."
Library Journal, Starred Review

"Slonczewski’s world-building has always gone deep; she gives the profoundest thought to how biology, culture, social structure, language, politics and economics combine to shape the future."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Unique characters, witty scientific and societal extrapolations, and a complex, mind-blowing setting make this sedately paced narrative a delightfully amusing read."
Publishers Weekly


"The Highest Frontier is an unnervingly brilliant novel, one which skewers relatively impartially almost every aspect of present  human culture in a future coming-of-age story, with a deep, if  cynical, understanding of the future implications of the world we are already beginning to build, but with that cynicism balanced by the realistic idealism of the protagonist."

—L. E. Modesitt, Jr., author of The Saga of Recluce series


“Crammed into this relatively short book are dozens of nifty, gee-whiz-cool-future geegaws that would make any science fiction lover swoon.”


Product Details
ISBN: 9780765367723
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
Pages: 496