A fiercely imaginative book that inhabits an intriguing narrative space between utopia and dystopia, Blackfish City is the story of a post-climate change refugee settlement in the Arctic Circle run by algorithms and oligarchs, but soon under the thrall of a threatening woman who rides an orca and keeps a chained polar bear at her side. A parable for the 21st century, Blackfish City comments cogently on issues like technology, inequality, corruption, and identity while telling a thrilling, creepy, and kind of hopeful story of survival for all against the odds. Recommended By Lucinda G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“One of the most intriguing future cities in years.” — Charlie Jane Anders
“Simmers with menace and heartache, suspense and wonder.” — Ann Leckie
After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city’s denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges — crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called “the breaks” is ravaging the population.
When a strange new visitor arrives — a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side — the city is entranced. The “orcamancer,” as she’s known, very subtly brings together four people — each living on the periphery — to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.
Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent — and ultimately very hopeful — novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.
“Immersive sci-fi with a poetic edge....The book thrills with its meticulous world-building while also providing great characters, inclusive representation, and hard-hitting themes.” Entertainment Weekly, Best of 2018 So Far
“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
“Impressive....Fabulous....We tend to label almost any future city as dystopian, but the term hardly does justice to Miller’s complex society.” Chicago Tribune
“Delightful....[A] gripping novel full of vivid descriptions, compelling characters, timely urgency, and thrilling action. An immediate page-turner.”
About the Author
Sam J. Miller’s short stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial, and Locus Awards. He’s the recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award and a graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. His young-adult novel, The Art of Starving, was released in 2017.