Sam J. Miller - Blackfish City - Little, Brown Book Group

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Blackfish City

By Sam J. Miller

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

Disturbing, powerful and fearlessly imagined, Blackfish City is a mesmerising dystopian novel from a remarkable new voice in science fiction


'A remarkable work of dystopian imagination' - Starburst

'Incisive and beautifully written . . . Blackfish City simmers with menace and heartache, suspense and wonder' - Ann Leckie, Hugo, Nebula and Clarke Award-winning author


After the climate wars, a floating city was constructed in the Arctic Circle. Once a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering it is now rife with corruption and the population simmers with 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 change Blackfish City forever.



'A compelling dystopian thriller' Guardian

'Sam Miller is a fiercely strong writer, and this book is a blast' - Daryl Gregory, World Fantasy
Award-winning author

'I haven't been this swept away by imagination and worldbuilding since Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials' - Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award-nominated author of Her Body and other Parties

'Damn near perfect' - The Book Smugglers

'An ambitious, imaginative and big-hearted dystopian ensemble story that's by turns elegiac and angry' - Publisher's Weekly

'This is the kind of swirling, original sci-fi we live for' - B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

Biographical Notes

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organiser. 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 and the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. He lives in New York City and at

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780356510019
  • Publication date: 17 Apr 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Orbit
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
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
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's poetic prose gives this dystopian story a taut, lyrical edge — ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
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
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
You know it's a good story when the watery death of the world we know, and the nanobonded orca, aren't even the most interesting things going on! — N. K. Jemisin
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
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
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
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
This is the kind of swirling, original sci-fi we live for — B&N SCI-FI AND FANTASY BLOG
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
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
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
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
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
Imaginative, compulsive and all-too plausible — Gareth L. Powell, BSFA Award-winning author
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
A powerful novel about political corruption, organized crime and technology run amok in a dystopian city floating in the Arctic Circle — KIRKUS
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
Imagines a rough, cobbled-together future, then brings forth a little magic from its potential darkness . . . An addictive tale of redemption and hope — BOOKPAGE
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
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
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
The novel flows with the momentum of an epidemic, an outbreak, and it doesn't slow down until the floor is littered with blood and bodies, and the air smells of fire and ash and hope . . . From battles involving polar bears and orca whales to daring rescues through maximum security installations, the novel brings a vivid action and fast pace . . . Damn near perfect — THE BOOK SMUGGLERS

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