Archives de catégorie : Speculative Fiction


Franz Kafka meets Yorgos Lanthimos in this provocative new novel from one of America’s most brilliant and distinctive writers.

by Jesse Ball
Catapult, September 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

In a speculative future, Abel, a menial worker, is called to serve in a secretive and fabled jury system. At the heart of this system is the repeat room, where a single juror, selected from hundreds of candidates, is able to inhabit the defendant’s lived experience, to see as if through their eyes.

The case to which Abel is assigned is revealed in the novel’s shocking second act. We receive a record of a boy’s broken and constrained life, a tale that reveals an illicit and passionate psycho-sexual relationship, its end as tragic as the circumstances of its conception.

Artful in its suspense, and sharp in its evocation of a byzantine and cruel bureaucracy, THE REPEAT ROOM is an exciting and pointed critique of the nature of knowledge and judgment, and a vivid framing of Ball’s absurd and nihilistic philosophy of love.

Jesse Ball is the author of fifteen books, most recently the novel Autoportrait. His works have been published to acclaim in many parts of the world and translated into more than a dozen languages. He is on the faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, won the 2008 Paris Review Plimpton Prize, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and has been a fellow of the NEA, Creative Capital, and the Guggenheim Foundation.

LONELINESS & COMPANY de Charlee Dyroff

Set in a near-future tech-ruled world, LONELINESS & COMPANY is about a loveable weirdo tasked with teaching an AI to be human who becomes more open to the world in the process.

by Charlee Dyroff
Bloomsbury, May 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)

Lee graduated from the top of her class at the Program and expected a placement at a top company. Instead she’s sent to collect data for a company nobody’s ever heard of that’s trying to teach an AI to act as “a true friend.” Lee begins voyeuristically: gathering information online and observing her outgoing roommate Veronika. But then the team learns that their company is secretly trying to cure loneliness, an emotion erased from society decades ago but somehow returned and spreading rapidly; the “true friend” AI is one of the few tech ventures that hasn’t yet failed. The company becomes desperate. Lee’s pressured into not just inputting data she finds online, but giving the AI the data of her own real-world experiences. She’s pushed into a zany mindset of chasing experiences to feed the AI.

LONELINESS & COMPANY will appeal to fans of Hilary Leichter’s Temporary and the bizarre humor of living in a tech-ruled world of Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This. It’s thematically kin to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and the Sun and the work of Alexandra Kleeman.

Naturally intelligent. An inventive, timely, and perceptive story about human connection and being alive.” —Emily Austin, author of Everyone in this Room will Someday be Dead

Tender and hopeful, Dyroff’s story glimmers with humor, empathy, and profound insights into the inner workings of the human heart and psyche.” —Gina Chung, author of Sea Change and Green Frog

This is a tender, visionary, wide-hearted book that offers itself as a course corrective to our hyper-quantified, algorithm-craven age.” —Hermione Hoby, author of Virtue

Charlee Dyroff is a writer from Boulder, Colorado. She received an MFA from Columbia University and some of her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Lapham’s Quarterly, Guernica, The Best American Food Writing of 2019, and elsewhere.


A woman checks herself into an insane asylum to solve the mystery of her sister’s murder, only to lose her memory and maybe her mind.

by Chris Panatier
Angry Robot, February 2024
(via KT Literary)

From the subversive voice behind The Phlebotomist comes a story that combines the uncanny atmosphere of Don’t Worry Darling with the narrative twists of The Last House on Needless Street.

What would guilt make you do?

Hadleigh Keene died on the road leading away from Hollyhock Asylum. The reasons are unknown. Her sister Morgan blames herself. A year later with the case still unsolved, Morgan creates a false identity, that of a troubled housewife named Charlotte Turner, and goes inside.

Morgan quickly discovers that Hollyhock is… not right. She is shaken by the hospital’s peculiar routines and is soon beset by strange episodes. All the while, the persona of Charlotte takes on a life of its own, becoming stronger with each passing day. As her identity begins unraveling, Morgan finds herself tracing Hadleigh’s footsteps and peering into the places they lead.

The terrifying reality of THE REDEMPTION OF MORGAN BRIGHT unfolds over the course of chapters told from the points of view of both Charlotte and Morgan, police interviews, and text messages.

Chris Panatier is an artist and writer living in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, daughter and a fluctuating herd of dogs. He writes short stories and novels. Chris has also been a trial attorney for almost two decades. He represents people who have been injured, poisoned, or killed due to the conduct of others.

THE AFTERTASTE de Daria Lavelle

An epic love story, dark comedy, and synesthetic adventure through food and grief, THE AFTERTASTE will delight readers of Alice Hoffman and Sweetbitter.

by Daria Lavelle
Bloomsbury, TBD
(via The Friedrich Agency)

Konstantin “Kostya” Duhhovny is a haunted man. His father passed shortly after they immigrated to Brooklyn from Ukraine, and ghosts have been hovering around Kostya ever since. He can’t see them, but his mouth will often flood with the tastes of meals he’s never consumed, and Kostya understands that this is how they haunt him.

Keeping to himself has served him well for most of his life, but on the night when Kostya decides to let the phantom flavors guide his hand, everything changes. Could this be his true purpose, offering real closure to grieving strangers? He sets out to learn everything he can by taking on the New York culinary scene. As his kitchen skills begin to catch up with his ambitions, Kostya cannot see the catastrophe that looms. The one person who knows Kostya must be stopped… also happens to be falling in love with him.

Daria Lavelle is a debut novelist who earned her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She was born in Kyiv before immigrating to the US as a child, and currently lives in New Jersey with her family.

MY NAME IS IRIS de Brando Skyhorse

Brando Skyhorse, the PEN/Hemingway Award–winning author of The Madonnas of Echo Park, returns with a riveting literary dystopian novel set in a near-future America where mandatory identification wristbands make second-generation immigrants into second-class citizens—a powerful family saga for readers of Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West and Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind.

by Brando Skyhorse
Avid Reader, May 2023
(via Writers House)

One day, Iris Prince, a middle-class, ideologically conservative Mexican American mother and wife, finds a mysterious wall growing outside her modest Southern California home. In addition to the maddening structure—which is impossible to remove and mutates at random—the rest of the world is also changing. A newly passed law suddenly denies basic rights like drivers’ licenses and steady employment to Americans who cannot prove at least one of their parents was born in the United States. Biometric wristbands are used to identify people who are “of verifiable origin” under the new system, while unverifiables are ignored or harassed with abandon.

Iris has always prided herself on being a model minority and assimilating into White American culture. She and her like-minded Mexican American husband Alex have raised their daughter Melanie to be bilingual, but there are strict rules about when Spanish is and isn’t acceptable, and about what other parts of their culture to selectively embrace. As Alex’s behavior becomes suspicious, Iris soon realizes she may not be eligible for the coveted wristband—at least not without going to dangerous, drastic lengths to get one. Meanwhile, the wall outside their home is growing, and their neighbors are watching more closely than ever…

A powerful story about family, identity, intolerance, and immigration, MY NAME IS IRIS is a brilliant and timely look at what it means to be American as seen through one woman’s tumultuous journey through a world that insists on telling her who she can and can’t be.

Brando Skyhorse’s debut novel, The Madonnas of Echo Park, won the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award and the Sue Kaufman Award for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His memoir, Take This Man, was named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2014 and one of NBC News’s 10 Best Latino Books of 2014. Skyhorse is a graduate of Stanford University and the MFA Writers’ Workshop program at UC Irvine.