From an acclaimed Hollywood writer/director and author
by Michael Tolkin
Atlantic Monthly Press, February 2017
In the wake of the virus, called NK3, dependence on computers has left society helpless because no one can remember their passwords. Even personal names have been forgotten, replaced by monikers that hint at the past: “AutoZone,” “Frank Sinatra,” “Go Bruins.” Within the sixty-foot-high fence that surrounds the Hollywood hills a new aristocracy rules—the Verified, whose power is memory itself. The Verified keep control over the Drifters, Shamblers, and Bottle Bangers with a history invented by the Mythology Committee. But when a few members of the Verified keep a change in their reality secret even from the rest of their privileged cohort, and a pop superstar from the pre-NK3 world is pulled from the shambling masses, the power balance threatens to shift. Meanwhile, a Drifter named Hopper is compelled by his Silent Voice—a mysterious fragment of memory some survivors carry on from the state-imposed Rehab program—to look for a wife whose name and face he doesn’t know. To find her, he’ll have to fight his way through a melee of tyrants, prophets, and rebels as they struggle for power and survival in a town that still manages to exert a magnetic force, even as a ruined husk.
A darkly comic thriller reminiscent of Robert Olen Butler’s “Hell”, Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven”, Karen Thompson Walker’s “The Age of Miracles”, and Jeff Vandermeer’s “Southern Reach” series, NK3 is a smart, compulsive read.
Michael Tolkin is an award-winning writer, director, and producer. His novels include “The Player”, “The Return of the Player”, “Among the Dead”, and “Under Radar”. For the film adaptation of “The Player”, Tolkin won the Writers Guild Award, the British Academy Award, the PEN Center USA West Literary Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best crime screenplay, and was nominated for an Academy Award.