Braking Day

Deep space is getting shallower by the light-year

Interstellar Vehicle Archimedes has been hurtling through space for more than five generations, an oasis of heat and light in the middle of absolutely nowhere. But now the ageing starship is preparing to brake, for it is arriving at Destination Star: Tau Ceti, the new home for the space-born descendants of the First Crew.

For trainee engineer Ravinder MacLeod, the world he knows is coming to an end. Once Archimedes succumbs to the gravitational pull of the Destination Star and its (hopefully) habitable planet, there will be no going back – or anywhere else. As Braking Day approaches, Ravi finds himself caught between the rigid requirements of the officer class to which he aspires and his blue-collar, ne’er-do-well family. Unfortunately for Ravi, Boz, his brilliant ex-con cousin, seems determined to make his life difficult – not least by her experiments with forbidden technology.

Then Ravi is assigned to routine maintenance deep in the massive engines of the Archimedes, where, alone and out of contact, he comes face to face with something impossible – mind-breakingly impossible.

Plagued by nightmares and visions and worried that his grip on reality is slipping, Ravi turns to Boz for help. Their search for answers takes them to the jagged place where the ship’s future intersects with its long past. For not everyone is excited to be reaching journey’s end, and the ghosts of the First Crew may not have been fully laid to rest.


“Oyebanji's brilliant debut [...] builds intrigue upon intrigue through the novel’s first half and pays off the suspense with a series of jaw-dropping revelations. Innovative worldbuilding, a plot packed with surprises, and Oyebanji’s nuanced exploration of social and cultural shifts make this a must-read for space opera fans.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“This is a story of people who are their own worst enemies as groups fracture, danger ramps up, and options close in. It will appeal to fans of colony ship stories and coming-of-age tales.”

Library Journal, Starred Review

“If you’re after action, mystery, and mind-bending mega-structures, look no further than Adam Oyebanji’s “Braking Day.” Set on a vast generation starship, it follows engineer Ravi Macleod and his charmingly criminal cousin Boz as they discover a secret that changes everything they thought they knew about the voyage. It zips along with some wonderful world-building and a lot of unexpected turns. This is Oyebanji’s debut, so I look forward to what he does next.”

The Washington Post

“Lovingly crafted characterization and world building, along with a satisfying twist, make BRAKING DAY a worthy entry in the (space)shipboard thriller genre exemplified by classics such as Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001 and Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes.”


“This richly imagined, intricately plotted adventure is crammed with ideas, and has many surprises in store.”

The Guardian

“Oyebanji skillfully brings forth a story whose political themes emerge from the plot and setting to produce an adventure novel that examines the politics of social privilege, and the way in which an individual's context can influence or even dictate their perceptions of reality.”

Strange Horizons

"Oyebanji has taken a brilliant central concept and built a believable world around it, populated by detailed, relatable characters full of hopes and dreams, prejudices, preconceptions and all the everyday concerns and worries that you’d expect in real life.... All told, this is space-set science fiction at its best."

Track of Words

"Adam Oyebanji has a very complicated situation to reveal that eventually would mean life and death to the ships. This is a very exciting tale and I hope gets nominated for an award. Lots of fun.”

Philadelphia Free Press

“This well-realised debut adopts a refreshingly pragmatic, hopeful stance, showing people overcoming division to secure a common goal.”

The Financial Times

“A fast-paced, but still character driven story, full of action and compelling twists [...] I am very curious to see where his writing career takes him. I’m a fan.”

Grimdark Magazine

"...a lively read. Braking Day is an accomplished debut."

The British Science Fiction Association

“Engaging, fast-moving, and inventive. The characters and the space environment feel totally real, as do the life and death challenges that never miss a step.”

Jack Campbell, New York Times bestselling author of the Lost Fleet series

“Adam Oyebanji’s BRAKING DAY blows the airlocks off the science fiction mainstay of generation ships with a vibrant world within bulkheads that’s as convincing as it is fresh. The characters are fabulous, the world-building impeccable yet never in-your-face, and the plot is breathtaking. All I can say is this is the best SF novel I’ve read in decades and it may be the best I’ve ever read. This author is now a must-read for me, and I’m sure he will be for you. Bravo!!”

Julie E. Czerneda, Aurora Award-winning author of IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS

“Oyebanji crafts an amazing lived-in world aboard a sprawling generation ship, and a twisty mystery that’ll keep you guessing to the very end.”

Dan Moren, author of the Galactic Cold War series

“BRAKING DAY is an outstanding debut novel that features exceptional world-building and a really well-realized generation ship society. Filled with twists and turns, it kept me guessing in the best way right up until the end.”

Michael Mammay, author of the PLANETSIDE series

“A crystalline, dazzling debut, teeming with life and data and full of breathless, rip-roaring twists and turns. From its first pages, BRAKING DAY grabs you and never lets you go.”

Lena Nguyen, author of WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE

“BRAKING DAY blends scintillating, imaginative worldbuilding and technology with a page-turner of a mystery, deftly wrapping the narrative in powerful questions about the trajectory of humanity. This is a must-read for fans of generation ship stories.”

Ren Hutchings, author of UNDER FORTUNATE STARS

"Adam Oyebanji’s Braking Day is a diverse, inventive story which breaths exciting new life into the genre mainstay of the generation ship. With vibrant world-building, well crafted characters, and a twisty mystery driven plot, Braking Day is a stand out novel from a wonderful new voice in science fiction."

Allusory Book Reviews

"At its best, Braking Day captures the awe of deep space travel, but it remains a personal story about one engineer trying to better their life."

SF Book Reviews

"Overall, I was very impressed with ‘Braking Day’ feeling that it combined the qualities of classic Golden Age science fiction with the social issues found in contemporary SF. Highly recommended."

Muse Books