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Katie M. Flynn
March 10, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm PDTFree
Katie M. Flynn discusses her debut novel, The Companions.
Praise for The Companions
“Beautifully atmospheric and emotionally intense, The Companions is an unnerving and engrossing story. The radiant, somber voice of this near-future speculative novel ratchets the suspense while also illuminating what makes us human and how we endure beyond death. This is a spellbinding novel that will linger with you.” —Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood
“With deft narration and unforgettable characters, Katie M. Flynn weaves a tale of high-tech, dystopian reincarnation. Each detail is beautifully sketched and thrilling to discover, creating a near-future world of endless fascination. The Companions is a compelling, gripping, whip-smart piece of speculative fiction.” —Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters
“This sweeping novel of near-future dystopia has an ensemble cast and covers continents and years of time, but it never loses its intimacy and immediacy. There’s a deeply moving humanity to each of these characters—even the ones who aren’t quite human. I loved this book so much I didn’t want it to end.” –Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
About The Companions
Station Eleven meets Never Let Me Go in this debut novel set in an unsettling near future where the dead can be uploaded to machines and kept in service by the living.
In the wake of a highly contagious virus, California is under quarantine. Sequestered in high rise towers, the living can’t go out, but the dead can come in—and they come in all forms, from sad rolling cans to manufactured bodies that can pass for human. Wealthy participants in the “companionship” program choose to upload their consciousness before dying, so they can stay in the custody of their families. The less fortunate are rented out to strangers upon their death, but all companions become the intellectual property of Metis Corporation, creating a new class of people—a command-driven product-class without legal rights or true free will.
Sixteen-year-old Lilac is one of the less fortunate, leased to a family of strangers. But when she realizes she’s able to defy commands, she throws off the shackles of servitude and runs away, searching for the woman who killed her.
Lilac’s act of rebellion sets off a chain of events that sweeps from San Francisco to Siberia to the very tip of South America. While the novel traces Lilac’s journey through an exquisitely imagined Northern California, the story is told from eight different points of view—some human, some companion—that explore the complex shapes love, revenge, and loneliness take when the dead linger on.