Half Life (novel)

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Half Life
First edition cover
Author Shelley Jackson
Cover artist Jacket design by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel, alternate history
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
July 25, 2006
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 440 pp (first edition, hardcover)
ISBN ISBN 978-0-06-088235-8 (first edition, hardcover)
OCLC 63165002
813/.54 22
LC Class PS3560.A2448 H35 2006

Half Life is the 2006 debut novel of American writer and artist Shelley Jackson. The novel presupposes an alternate history in which the atomic bomb resulted in a genetic preponderance of conjoined twins, who eventually become a minority subculture.


The book tells the story of a disenchanted conjoined twin named Nora Olney who plots to have her twin murdered.


Half Life received mixed-to-positive reviews; Newsweek called it "brilliant and funny,"[1] and The New York Times, while praising Jackson's ambition as "truly glorious," added that "All this razzle-dazzle, all the allusions, [and] the narrative loop-de-loops [get] a bit busy."[2] It won the 2006 James Tiptree, Jr. Award for science fiction and fantasy.


  1. ^ Braiker, Brian. "Two Times a Lady", Newsweek, 2006-08-16. Retrieved on 2007-08-01.
  2. ^ D'Erasmo, Stacey. "My Sister and Me", The New York Times, 2006-08-13. Retrieved on 2007-08-01.