Bestselling Science Fiction Author

AESTUS | Sci-fi dystopian

An underground city, built centuries ago to ride out the devastating heat. A society under attack. And a young solar engineer whose skills may be the key to saving her city…if she doesn’t get herself killed first.

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Rating: 5 out of 5.
“…at the level of Frank Herbert’s Dune.”
– IHeartSci-Fi

Rating: 5 out of 5.
“One of the best books I’ve ever read.”
– The Very Bookish

Rating: 5 out of 5.
“…has the makings of a viral sensation.”
– Ian the Reader

Rating: 5 out of 5.
“…masterful…on par with the best in the genre.”
– A. R. Saida 

Rating: 5 out of 5.
“Aestus Book 1: The City is flat out one of the best science fiction novels I’ve read in recent years….As a science fiction writer myself, I have to say that S.Z. Atwell is a gifted writer who knows how to maintain suspense as well as anyone writing today….”
– C. Dorman 

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When Jossey was ten, the creatures of the aboveground took her brother and left her for dead, with horrible scars. Now, years later, she’s a successful solar engineer, working to keep her underground city’s power running, but she’s never really recovered. After she saves dozens of people during a second attack, she is offered a top-secret assignment as a field Engineer with Patrol, but fear prevents her from taking it…until Patrol finds bones near where her brother disappeared.  

She signs on and finds herself catapulted into a world that is far more dangerous, and requires far more of her, than she ever imagined. The creatures and the burning heat aboveground are not the only threats facing the City, and what she learns during her assignment could cost her her life: one of the greatest threats to the City may in fact lie within. With thousands of lives at stake, can she act in time?

Aestus is an adult dystopian science-fiction series set centuries after climate change has ravaged much of Earth. An epic story of vengeance, power, shifting loyalties, and survival that looks at just how far people will go to protect what they love, brought to you by science writer S.Z. Attwell, Aestus paints a picture of a world in which far too little has changed. 

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Blog and news/events

Blog | S.Z. Attwell

Is my MC realistic? Or unnecessarily special?

When I first started writing Jossey, the protagonist of Aestus, Book 1: The City, I did not want her to be the typical heroine of Tropeland. I grew up around enough fanfiction to be leery of the so-called Mary Sue (beautiful, talented, everyone falls in love with her, good at everything she does, etc. to…

Brief Updates for the Writing Community

Announcement: There is an Indie Book Community discord server in the works but non-indie writers are welcome too (as long as they’re supportive of indie publishing and such)! I know many of you are querying, and that’s totally fine – please join us! (Invite may expire in 7 days.) I’m S. Z. Attwell and can…


S.Z. Attwell is a bestselling science-fiction author as well as a sci-comm writer. She is a member of the SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association) and her work has been featured in Simultaneous Times. The first book in her series Aestus was a 2021 finalist for the Kindle Book Award and B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree and is currently a quarterfinalist in the SPSFC2.

In her free time, she does photography and archery. She lives in the Boston area.

Find her on social media at @szattwellauthor (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and on Mastodon! (Also here!)