A remarkable Japan-set speculative novel about quantum computing and what it means to belong in a rapidly changing world – perfect for fans of Ex-Machina and Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan.
BEAUTIFUL SHINING PEOPLE
by Michael Grothaus
Vulkan, March 2023
(via Northbank Talent Management)
Tokyo, late 2040s. It’s an ordinary world, one where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky, and robots work in hamburger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. The new frontier: quantum computing – and it will change the world.
17-year-old coding genius John arrives in Tokyo, invited by Sony, who want to buy his quantum algorithm. One cold night he enters a small, strange cafe – a cafe run by a disgraced sumo wrestler accompanied by a peculiar dog with a spherical head. And then there’s the waitress, who hides a striking secret. There’s something different about her – a kind of splintering inside her, like there’s something in there that doesn’t belong. John might be the only person that can help her discover the truth – about what’s inside, where her missing father went, and who might be looking for them now. It’s a discovery that will take them from the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima’s tragic past to the snowy mountains of Nagano, and from the safety of family to the machinations of Big Tech and man’s incessant struggle for power.
Michael Grothaus is an author and journalist from Saint Louis, Missouri, now living in London. He spent his twenties in Chicago where he earned his degree in filmmaking from Columbia and got his start in journalism writing for Screen. After working for institutions including The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth Century Fox, and Apple he earned his postgraduate degree with distinction in creative writing from the University of London. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Litro Magazine, Fast Company, VICE, the Irish Times, Screen, Quartz, and others. His debut novel, Epiphany Jones, was published in 2016 and his first non-fiction book, Trust No One, was published by Hodder in November 2021.