Fiction & Drama
Lisa Rookes on the inspiration behind The Gallows Tree
Happy publication day to Michael Grothaus on Beautiful Shining People, a remarkable Japan-set speculative novel about quantum computing and what it means to belong in a rapidly changing world, published by Orenda Books.
17-year-old coding genius John arrives in Tokyo, invited by Sony, who want to buy his quantum algorithm. One cold night he enters a small, strange cafe – a cafe run by a disgraced sumo wrestler accompanied by a peculiar dog with a spherical head. And then there’s the waitress, who hides a striking secret. There’s something different about her – a kind of splintering inside her, like there’s something in there that doesn’t belong.
John might be the only person that can help her discover the truth – about what’s inside, where her missing father went, and who might be looking for them now. It’s a discovery that will take them from the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima’s tragic past to the snowy mountains of Nagano, and from the safety of family to the machinations of Big Tech and man’s incessant struggle for power.
Praise for Beautiful Shining People:
‘Exquisite world-building, this book had me invested from the very first page. Vivid plot and irresistible characters and a real tug at the soul … you’ll drown in it’ – Lisa Bradley
‘A fascinating exploration of what it means to be human in a world where everything can be faked, and an alarming projection into a not-too-distant and all-too-plausible future … wonderful, insightful and thoughtful’ – James Oswald
‘I have adored every moment reading this. Grothaus has literally transported me with the beautiful writing and descriptions. I have devoured page after page… From beginning to end this book is a gem. I have loved everything about this book. This is absolutely one I’ll be recommending’ – @littlemissbook6
‘Mesmerising and unforgettable … This book is a masterpiece. It took my breath away. This may have been my first book by Michael Grothaus, but it will not be my last … Moving, powerful and enthralling, Beautiful Shining People is a phenomenal story that will stay with you. I have no doubt that this is going to be one of my books of the year, and I highly recommend it to everyone’ – @bibliotreasures