“I recommend that you lay your hands on a copy.” —Ann Leckie, author of Provenance
“Tidbeck's haunting world made of words is undeniably disturbing and provocative.” —The Chicago Tribune
“A fresh dystopian twist. . . . Tidbeck's first novel, translated by the author from her native Swedish, is grim, spare, and fascinating.” —Library Journal
“Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka is a stunning, truly original exploration of the mysteries of reality and what it means to be human. It’s brutally honest and uncompromising in its vision—a brilliant short story writer has been revealed as an even more brilliant novelist. One of my favorite reads of the past few years, an instant classic.” --Jeff VanderMeer, author of the Southern Reach trilogy
“Tidbeck reimagines reality and the power of language in her dystopian sci-fi novel. . . . Tidbeck introduces the mysteries and mechanics of her world slowly while leaving the origins of these pioneers opaque. Her ending takes a turn into much weirder territory, but her tense plotting, as well as the questions she raises about language, control, and human limits make this a very welcome speculative fiction novel.” —Publishers Weekly
“Karin Tidbeck is a brilliant conjurer of worlds, a fabulist armed with an imagination as fiercely strange as any I have ever encountered. Her fiction is built on a foundation of improbabilities and even outright impossibilities, and if you surrender to its increasingly bold claims on reality you will walk away surprised, thrilled, and in all likelihood changed forever.” —Matt Bell, author of Scrapper
“An instant classic.” —Jeff VanderMeer
A surreal debut novel set in a world shaped by language in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. Le Guin.
Vanja, an information assistant, is sent from her home city of Essre to the austere, wintry colony of Amatka with an assignment to collect intelligence for the government. Immediately she feels that something strange is going on: people act oddly in Amatka, and citizens are monitored for signs of subversion.
Intending to stay just a short while, Vanja falls in love with her housemate, Nina, and prolongs her visit. But when she stumbles on evidence of a growing threat to the colony, and a cover-up by its administration, she embarks on an investigation that puts her at tremendous risk.
In Karin Tidbeck’s world, everyone is suspect, no one is safe, and nothing—not even language, nor the very fabric of reality—can be taken for granted. Amatka is a beguiling and wholly original novel about freedom, love, and artistic creation by a captivating new voice.