The Island Will Sink
by Briohny Doyle
Pub Date 01 Aug 2016
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In a not-too-distant future perpetually on the brink of collapse, catastrophe is our most popular entertainment.
The energy crisis has come and gone. EcoLaw is enforced by insidious cartoon panda bears and their armies of viral-marketing children. The world watches as Pitcairn Island sinks into the Pacific, wondering if this, finally, will be the end of everything. Amongst it all, Max Galleon, anxious family man and blockbuster auteur, lives a life that he cannot remember.
What happens when you can outsource your memories – and even edit them?
When death can be reversed through digitisation, what is the point of living?
If the lines between real and unreal are fully blurred, can you really trust anyone, even yourself?
A Note From the Publisher
Shortlisted for the Small Press Network's Most Underrated Book Award 2017.
“The Island Will Sink is not ‘just’ a novel. It is the most assured and innovative debut I have read in a long time, one that has me excited about the political possibilities of postmodern fiction.”
Pip Smith, The Australian
“Science fiction fans will spot echoes of J. G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick in the narrative and quirky incidental moments (Max’s socks have an inbuilt compass and his house changes its settings when he enters). The Island Will Sink is groundbreaking enough to hope it might lead to greater interest in publishing Australian science fiction.”
The Saturday Paper
“Doyle can do humour, and has an engaging voice. The prose in science fiction may have to be information-rich, strenuously expository in its world-building, but Doyle never gets waylaid: she can find the poetry in the new world ... and the characters never seem as if they are overborne by the action or the conceptual framework.”
Owen Richardson, The Sydney Morning Herald
“The Island Will Sink is a deep and demanding read. Doyle postulates a world in which climate change has hastened social change and political control and exacerbated the gap between the haves and have-nots, but one in which society has ultimately adapted to climatic deprivations.”
Linda Morris, The Sydney Morning Herald
“The world of Doyle’s novel, while practically unrecognisable from our own, is meticulously and cleverly realised, from housing, transport and the sad irony of ubiquitous sustainability propaganda, to the convergence of technology and the self ... Like Don DeLillo’s White Noise for the climate-change generation...”
Alan Vaarwerk, Readings Monthly
“The environmental issues, philosophical ideas and visual descriptions, as well as the emotional relationships with the children, are put together with almost sculptural elegance and the novel builds to a very exciting and irresistible finish.”
Folly Gleeson, Newtown Review of Books
“I love this book. This is the hottest mess of a debut – a dystopian romp, as cinematic as a roller coaster ride, and deep with ideas and heart. It has everything – an amnesiac director of fully immersive disaster movies, an all-knowing coma specialist, a pair of perpetually plugged-in children who know even more, and one sinking island. Picture the technology section of the The Economist as directed by Jill Soloway. I have no higher praise.”
Steven Amsterdam, author of Things We Didn’t See Coming, What The Family Needed, and The Easy Way Out
“The structure is adventurous, dense and poetic … I thought of J.G. Ballard’s imaginatively coherent, hard-edged, full-fledged imaginings.”
Luke Davies, author of Candy and God of Speed, screenwriter of Lifeand Lion
“Intelligent, fast-paced, deeply considered and great fun, The Island Will Sink is a hell of a speculative ride through a future both familiar and strange. Doyle's hyperactive Anthropocene vision is nothing short of thrilling.”
Jennifer Mills, author of Gone, The Diamond Anchor, and The Rest is Weight
“A disconcerting sense of alienation flows through Doyle’s novel… This same detachment also raises probing questions about memory, legacy and the emotional imprints we leave on others – and what of us is left behind when these imprints disappear.”
Books+Publishing, May 2016 “The story plays out with a cool sterility reminiscent of films like Equilibrium, a grand sense of opera as in Tree of Life, and deliciously-balanced surrealism (think Inception). Beautifully written and even darkly humorous in places, it puts speculative fiction, often considered the domain of a specific readership, within the reach of anyone. I want to read it again and pull together the threads I might’ve missed, and I can’t wait to read others’ reviews of this one as it meets with audiences. A very impressive debut.”
Danielle Carey, Bookity Boo
“The near-future is thought-out and realistic. It’s a little bit like every episode of Black Mirror rolled into one (minus sex with a pig), with a coherent and touching story and without all the brashness/crassness of Charlie Brooker.”
Thomas Wilson, Goodreads
“The worldbuilding is brilliantly handled and it’s a thrill to read a speculative and satirical story that’s so accessible...Doyle’s debut is funny, engaging, fast and fascinating, but above all, it reads as a warning. I was thoroughly rattled by its end.”
Angus Dalton, Grapeshot