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Blackfish City
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Sam J. Miller
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller at Galaxy Bookshop,

Blackfish City

Sam J. Miller


Orbit Books

Fantasy » Science Fantasy;
Horror » Apocalyptic;
Science Fiction » Cyberpunk;
Science Fiction » Dystopia


336 pages

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After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, it has started to crumble under the weight of its own decay - crime and corruption have set in, a terrible new disease is coursing untreated through the population, and the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside deepest poverty are spawning unrest.

Into this turmoil comes a strange new visitor - a woman accompanied by an orca and a chained polar bear. She disappears into the crowds looking for someone she lost thirty years ago, followed by whispers of a vanished people who could bond with animals. Her arrival draws together four people and sparks a chain of events that will lead to unprecedented acts of resistance.

Blackfish City is a mesmerising novel from a stunning new voice in science fiction.

By:   Sam J. Miller
Imprint:   Orbit Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   440g
ISBN:   9780356510033
ISBN 10:   0356510034
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   April 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organiser. His debut novel The Art of Starving, was called 'Funny, haunting, beautiful, relentless and powerful . . . a classic in the making' by Book Riot, and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher's Weekly. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Awards and have appeared in over a dozen 'year's best' anthologies. He's a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City and at

Sam J. Miller has proven himself a force to be reckoned with . . . Blackfish City is an eco-punk thriller with startling implications for how climate change, technology, and the political machinations of the mega-rich could dramatically alter our future . . . Sam J. Miller's sophomore effort proves him a writer with real potential. Best to start here, and prepare yourself for many more strange journeys at his side -- B&N SCI-FI AND FANTASY BLOG A timeless story of rebellion against a corrupt master, giving it a kind of Hunger Games resonance that reaches beyond any genre boundaries. Miller is a graceful writer -- BOOKLIST Blackfish City feels like a place I've never seen in a story before, but I came away feeling as though I'd lived there forever. One of the most intriguing future cities in years -- Charlie Jane Anders Imagines a rough, cobbled-together future, then brings forth a little magic from its potential darkness . . . An addictive tale of redemption and hope -- BOOKPAGE A vivid dystopian metropolis that feels distressingly real and wonderfully fantastical . . . You'll be drawn in to Blackfish City in no time at all -- SCIFINOW A powerful novel about political corruption, organized crime and technology run amok in a dystopian city floating in the Arctic Circle -- KIRKUS Miller has created a world that is so deep, complex and well-imagined that it almost appears to be a living breathing entity . . . Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys science-fiction . . . I can see this making many 'best-of-the-year' lists in 2018 -- FANTASY BOOK REVIEW Imaginative, compulsive and all-too plausible -- Gareth L. Powell, BSFA Award-winning author Miller draws a fascinating post-collapse future, mixing low-life and high concept SF to create something very different -- Adrian Tchaikovsky, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Blackfish City is a book that seethes with competing interests and despair, but also joy, politics, crime, and brutal orcamancy. Miller is our best guide for this prophetic tale with its morass of characters locked into their destiny against a background of warped urban landscape. The book is cinematic and punchy -- Tade Thompson, Nommo Award-winning author of ROSEWATER and THE MURDERS OF MOLLY SOUTHBOURNE A marvellously intricate mosaic of human stories and survival in a city afloat in the wreckage of the anthropocene -- Paul McAuley, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author I LOVED Blackfish City - imaginative, compelling . . . with beautifully immersive descriptive prose and characters that just pop . . . it was a pure pleasure to read first page to last. Highly Recommended. -- LIZ LOVES BOOKS Blackfish City is a wildly inventive post-cyberpunk ride that also has real things to say about community and family. Sam Miller's drowned future is vivid and fully real, even as he throws in the weird and the fantastic: nano-bonded orcas, cage fighters, AIs and post-human sword fighters. Sam Miller is a fiercely strong writer, and this book is a blast -- Daryl Gregory, World Fantasy Award-winning author of SPOONBENDERS This is the kind of swirling, original sci-fi we live for -- B&N SCI-FI AND FANTASY BLOG Fans of dystopian sci-fi will eat this one up - it's only January and already I can guarantee this one will make a lot of best of 2018 lists -- BOOKBAG Blackfish City is a triumph. Thrilling, heartfelt and ferociously political, it is the kind of fiction we need more of if we are to survive the climate catastrophe that is already enveloping our world -- James Bradley, author of CLADE An ambitious, imaginative, and big-hearted dystopian ensemble story that's by turns elegiac and angry. . . Miller has crafted a thriller that unflinchingly examines the ills of urban capitalism. [the city] is a beautiful and brutal character in its own right, rendered in poetic interludes. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY An urgent tale imploring us to look at the ties between technology, race, gender and class privilege . . . Surprisingly heartwarming . . . an action-packed science fiction thriller -- WASHINGTON POST Blackfish City is an exhilarating tour of a post-catastrophe future that's both fantastical and eerily convincing. Imagine The Yiddish Policeman's Union cross-bred with Snowcrash and you'll get an inkling of the imaginative horsepower on display here. A saltwater-splashed refuge for misfits and cutthroats, teeming with mystery and intrigue, Blackfish City is a place you might never want to live in - but as a reader, you won't want to leave -- Adam Sternbergh, author of THE BLINDS A floating Arctic city; nano-bonded orcas and polar bears; an Earth violently reshaped by the mistakes we're making right now . . . I haven't been this swept away by imagination and worldbuilding since Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. A gorgeous, queer, muscular novel -- Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award-nominated author of HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES Miller's poetic prose gives this dystopian story a taut, lyrical edge -- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY Miller excels at depicting a metropolis bursting at the seams and populated by both refugees and the elite. Blackfish City is a compelling dystopian thriller -- GUARDIAN Miller gives us an incisive and beautifully written story of love, revenge, and the power (and failure) of family in a scarily plausible future. Blackfish City simmers with menace and heartache, suspense and wonder. Plus, it has lots of action and a great cast of characters. Not to mention an orca and a polar bear! -- Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author A remarkable work of dystopian imagination . . .a gorgeously realised world that feels authentic . . . [Miller] writes exquisitely and presents us with a future that is terrifyingly plausible but never less than mesmerising . . . It's too early in the year to begin assembling 2018's 'best of' list, but Blackfish City has got to be an early contender. -- STARBURST

  • Short-listed for Nebula Award for Best Novel 2019 (UK)
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