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3.5 

How High We Go in the Dark

By Sequoia Nagamatsu
How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE ROXANE GAY'S AUDACIOUS BOOK CLUB PICK FINALIST FOR THE URSULA K. LE GUIN PRIZE

"Moving and thought-provoking . . . offering psychological insights in lyrical prose while seriously exploring speculative conceits." — New York Times Book Review

"Haunting and luminous . . . Beautiful and lucid science fiction. An astonishing debut."  — Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta

Recommended by New York Times Book Review Los Angeles TimesNPRWashington Post Wall Street Journal Entertainment Weekly • Esquire Good Housekeeping NBC NewsBuzzfeed • Goodreads The MillionsThe Philadelphia Inquirer • Minneapolis Star-Tribune • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardianand many more!

For fans of Cloud Atlas and Station Eleven, a spellbinding and profoundly prescient debut that follows a cast of intricately linked characters over hundreds of years as humanity struggles to rebuild itself in the aftermath of a climate plague—a daring and deeply heartfelt work of mind-bending imagination from a singular new voice. 

In 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika Crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus.

Once unleashed, the Arctic plague will reshape life on Earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children, a cynical employee falls in love with a mother desperate to hold on to her infected son. A heartbroken scientist searching for a cure finds a second chance at fatherhood when one of his test subjects—a pig—develops the capacity for human speech. A widowed painter and her teenaged granddaughter embark on a cosmic quest to locate a new home planet. 

From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Sequoia Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resilience of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.

"Wondrous, and not just in the feats of imagination, which are so numerous it makes me dizzy to recall them, but also in the humanity and tenderness with which Sequoia Nagamatsu helps us navigate this landscape. . . . This is a truly amazing book, one to keep close as we imagine the uncertain future."  — Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here

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1121 Reviews

3.5
Thought-provoking
Thinking Face“This novel was almost like a collection of stories or puzzle pieces in that they are all connected somehow, but that's not the main point of the story. This novel was melancholy, triggering (for me) at times, hit too close to home at times, poignant, and thankfully hopeful. It shows how strong and adaptable we are as humanity when our back is against the wall and we have to withstand the darkest of times. It was sad, but also interesting to explore thoughts of what it would be like to live in this world. Some of the stories I wished that I could have followed for a little longer, just to see where that particular path led to.”
Thought-provoking
Thinking Face“It was like a “Black Mirror” episode. So interesting and thought provoking.”
Loudly Crying Face“This was a VERY interesting book. It is a gripping and emotional narrative told from the perspective of multiple characters. There should be trigger warnings because there are some intensely emotional moments described in this book involving children and dismembered body parts that I wasn't prepared for. I would describe this story as Black Mirror meets the pandemic because of the strange and haunting situations the characters have to maneuver within a pandemic independently but connected at the same time. Even though the characters' world is weird and disturbing, I could unfortunately see some of the things that happen in the book happening in real life (god forbid!). I would only recommend this book if you are really into Sci-fi and multi-person storytelling.”
Believable charactersBeautifully writtenOriginal writingUnpredictableRealistic settingDarkHeartbreakingThought-provoking

About Sequoia Nagamatsu

Sequoia Nagamatsu is a Japanese-American writer and managing editor of Psychopomp Magazine, an online quarterly dedicated to innovative prose. Originally from Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area, he holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University and a BA in Anthropology from Grinnell College. His work has appeared in such publications as Conjunctions, The Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, Fairy Tale Review, and Tin House. He is the author of the award-winning short story collection Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone and teaches creative writing at St. Olaf College and the Rainier Writing Workshop Low-Residency MFA program. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife, cat, and a robot dog named Calvino.

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