A mind-bending speculative thriller in which the sudden appearance of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean leads a group of scientists to a series of jaw-dropping revelations that challenge the notion of what it means to be human.

An enormous snow-covered mountain has appeared in the Pacific Ocean. No one knows when exactly it showed up, precisely how big it might be, or how to explain its existence. When Harold Tunmore is contacted by a shadowy organization to help investigate, he has no idea what he is getting into as he and his team set out for the mountain.

The higher Harold’s team ascends, the less things make sense. Time moves differently, turning minutes into hours, and hours into days. Amid the whipping cold of higher elevation, the climbers’ limbs numb and memories of their lives before the mountain begin to fade. Paranoia quickly turns to violence among the crew, and slithering, ancient creatures pursue them in the snow. Still, as the dangers increase, the mystery of the mountain compels them to its peak, where they are certain they will find their answers. Have they stumbled upon the greatest scientific discovery known to man or the seeds of their own demise?

Framed by the discovery of Harold Tunmore’s unsent letters to his family and the chilling and provocative story they tell, Ascension considers the limitations of science and faith and examines both the beautiful and the unsettling sides of human nature.

Don't just take our word for it...

“Smartly paced, deploying twists and turns strategically to keep the reader moving. . . The ideas are big and the journey is a whole lot of fun.”
– The New York Times

“A lovingly retold version of a classic horror thriller, but with more humanity and real emotion; it is the story of a broken man and what redemption looks like in the real world. . .[an] excellent page-turner. . .Ascension is thoroughly recommended—a macabre, escapist pleasure for the thoughtful set.”
– The Wall Street Journal

“A vertiginous tale of discovery, horror and weird, time-bending phenomena. . .Using the mountain as a metaphor for humankind’s constant striving towards grace and knowledge, Nicholas Binge’s Ascension explores themes of faith and determinism, with plenty of hardcore science thrown in. . .frequent references to the Sisyphus myth help to elevate it above its pulp-thriller concept. . .the author also provides well-sustained tension and some excitingly wrought scenes of violence.”
– The Financial Times

Taste the very first page

My brother disappeared twenty-nine years ago. It didn’t happen on a specific day, or even during a specific month. The process was a slow drifting—a realization that grew in me like a poison, a splinter at the stem of my brain.

In 1990, he missed Christmas with the family, sending no message or explanation. He just didn’t show up.

I wasn’t exactly surprised at the time. He simply was who he was: Harold Tunmore, an esteemed scientist and Renaissance man. There was always some far-flung discovery, some hidden spool of thread he had to pull that would take precedence over other people. I never really understood his devotion to the un- known, but I learned to tolerate it over the years. You simply couldn’t count on him. He lived way up in the clouds.

It must be said that he had got better over the previous five or six years, becoming more of an uncle to my daughter, Harriet, in that time. He’d actually show up for birthdays and holidays, bringing with him strange and exotic trinkets from his travels. He’d swing by unannounced, much to my wife’s consternation, and take Harriet off on wild trips, exploring Scottish forests and camping by lakes. I’m not sure what had caused this change in him, but it was a welcome one. It was nice to see him more, after so many years of absences and excuses…