Riley August

Riley August is a speculative fiction writer, animal lover, nature walker, and all-around nerd. When they aren’t writing stories about lonely voyages through space, you can find them playing video games, the guitar, or a myriad of TTRPGs. They live in woodsy New England with their cat and husband. The Last Gifts of the Universe is their debut novel.

Find Riley on their website, or follow them on Twitter @mxrileyaugust.



    SPSFC 2022 Winner

    The Last Gifts of the Universe
    Riley August



The Last Gifts of the Universe
"The Last Gifts of the Universe is wistful, loving, and indescribably beautiful. I'd call it required reading for the end of the world. Riley August has written a poignant masterpiece that transcends the death of stars."

Olivia Atwater, author of the Regency Faerie Tales trilogy

"Last Gifts is a quietly profound story about grief, purpose, and our place in the universe – told with a touch of humor, and a dash of adventure. Come for the cat, stay for the story."

Sunyi Dean, internationally bestselling author of The Book Eaters

"Come for the space archeologists and adorably violent Pumpkin the cat, but stay for a science fiction novel that will repair your soul with its beautiful, uplifting earnestness in the face of true peril. Riley August is a major new voice in science fiction and I will read anything they write."

Nadia El-Fassi, author of Best Hex Ever

"Defiantly kind and achingly hopeful, Riley August's debut is an ode to grief in its many colors and the beauty in mundanity. By turns heartbreaking and healing, this book about finding meaning when the future is dire and uncertain feels like it was written for everyone living in the world today. I smiled, I cried, and I wanted, desperately, to leave something beautiful behind for the universe."

Jules Arbeaux, author of Lord of the Empty Isles

"A heartfelt, honest exploration of what it means to be an archivist – and what makes everyday moments worth remembering. Riley August’s comfortingly contemplative novel left me feeling more hopeful about my place in the universe."

Sylvie Cathrall, author of A Letter to the Luminous Deep

"Raw, funny, and wise, The Last Gifts of the Universe is a meditation on grief and meaning disguised in the spacesuit of a thrilling, beam-me-up galactic treasure hunt. Riley August has written a quietly wonderful, hopeful novel that heals the parts of you that you didn't know were hurt."

Julie Leong, author of The Teller of Small Fortunes

"The Last Gifts of the Universe is a delightfully balanced sci-fi that perfectly captures my favorite thing about speculative fiction: using speculative elements to emphasize humanity. All at once, it is a convincing look into the perils of not listening to those who come before us and a beautiful story of humanity."

Bookish Brews

“The Last Gifts of the Universe is a stunningly beautiful meditation on loss, the grief that comes with it, and what it means to live with the knowledge that life is finite… If you read one book I recommend, let it be this one.”


Awards & Accolades


The Last Gifts of the Universe