Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is a novelist and journalist. His debut novel, Epiphany Jones, a literary thriller about sex trafficking among the Hollywood elite, was published in 2016. It was longlisted for the CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger Award and named one of the 25 “Most Irresistible Hollywood Novels” by Entertainment Weekly. Michael’s first non-fiction book, Trust No One: Inside the World of Deepfakes, was published by Hodder Studio in 2021.

Over his 20 year career, Michael’s work has appeared in The GuardianFast CompanyVICELitro MagazineThe Irish TimesScreenQuartz, and others.


Beautiful Shining People

Michael Grothaus

A remarkable Japan-set speculative novel about quantum computing and what it means to belong in a rapidly changing world.

Tokyo, late 2040s.

It’s an ordinary world, one where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky, and robots work in hamburger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. The new frontier: quantum computing – and it will change the world.

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.