In a New York City not quite our own, a gigantic tiger prowls the streets and ravages bodegas, hamburger restaurants, and the already tenuous grasp on reality held by the city’s inhabitants. Is the tiger real? Or is it man-made, part of a conspiracy to turn Manhattan over, once and for all, from the free-thinkers and truth-seekers to the shadowy forces of late capitalism seeking to consolidate their power? Paranoid and hilarious, cerebral and sensual, this profound, intricate novel celebrates friendship, art, and conversation in a world where nothing is certain.
The Buried Giant
Despite the title, the super-sized creature dominating the landscape in this book is not a humanoid giant, but a dragon. Also subverting expectations is the way the dragon exerts her influence: not through outright violence or chaos, but by blanketing the world in a mist of forgetfulness. Connecting the personal with the global, as he always does masterfully, Ishiguro transports us to a time after the fall of heroes, where the most terrifying quest is into the heart of our own intimate relationships.
The Sky Is Yours
Chandler Klang Smith
In dialogue with all of the above texts and more, my novel takes place in the futuristic Empire Island, which for 50 years has been beset with unrelenting attacks from two fire-breathing dragons. Under the shadow of their wings, the city has emptied out and transformed beyond all recognition into a place exclusively dominated by “Late Capitalism’s Royalty” (the 1%) and the inhabitants of a prison colony nicknamed “Torchtown.” As three young people come of age in these ruins—and head toward an inevitable confrontation with the menace from above—songs, poems, oral histories, letters, books-within-the-book, screenplays, and a video game script explore the culture of a metropolis shaped by disaster, and the inner lives of the characters who still inhabit it.
From the Kraken to Grendel to Smaug, to Godzilla and King Kong, monsters gargantuan enough to beach a ship, eat a person whole, terrorize the countryside, or wreak havoc on a city have long captivated the popular imagination. That fascination continues to this day, with fearsome creatures looming large in unexpected places. Prepare to cower in awe as the action plays out on a massive scale in these seven genre-bending novels.
Featured illustration: Calum Heath; Author Photo: Eric Taxier