The Big Idea: Grace Curtis

Nothing good can last. On the flip side, a thing is not beautiful because it lasts. Author Grace Curtis touches on this in the Big Idea for her newest novel, Floating Hotel. Come along as she takes you to the stars, and the hotel that’s waiting there.


Once upon a time I was playing Mario Kart on the crumb-strewn carpet of my friend’s house in a city called Norwich. I had a can of cheap lager by my side and a purple plastic controller in my hands. In the room with me were a half dozen wonderful people who I loved with my whole heart, and a rat called Arnold, who was building a nest somewhere under the sofa out of lint and orange peel.

In that moment on that carpet I knew two things with intense simultaneous clarity. 1, that this was the happiest I’d ever been in my entire life. And 2, in a few months it was all going to end. This was spring 2019. We were all set to graduate in the summer and scatter, to new jobs or back to hometowns or for adventures abroad. We’d never be together like this again.

It’s a grief we don’t seem to talk about a lot in life – the grief you feel not for a dead person (though I was also grieving for a dead person at that time) but for a whole chapter of your life that’s gone and can’t come back. ‘Nostalgia’ doesn’t really capture the dread, the pain of it.

Anyway. My new book is about a hotel in space called the Grand Abeona Hotel. Inside the front lobby the Abeona contains a small model of itself; the famed ‘Galactic diorama’ which displays a moving magnetized model of the local solar system and the hotel’s place within it. The Abeona used to go everywhere in the galaxy, but for the past ten years it’s kept to an exact schedule, circling the milky way just like the model in the diorama, around and around, unchanging, gradually getting more worn down with each circuit. Financial troubles abound. Whole wings have been shut down due to lack of business. A ruthless manager could probably save the place, but the Abeona does not have a ruthless manager – it has Carl. And Carl is far more interested in keeping the staff safe and happy than pleasing the guests. This isn’t a business to him. It’s home.

Floating Hotel: Amazon|Barnes & Noble||Oblong

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Source: The Big Idea: Grace Curtis

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