Flatiron Books: The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Zero Bomb

The England of 2030 is largely automated, its economy debased to gig work without any social safety net. Remi is a cycling courier in a London crowded by self-driving cars and little airborne robot assistants. He took the job after losing his daughter several years ago and suffering through drug addiction. Now he carts subversive analog documents among clients eager to avoid omnipresent state surveillance.

Remi's latest job ends less than satisfactorily when he's nearly hit by an automated car and accosted by a strange man on the subway. His new life in London unravels via increasingly bizarre encounters with an unnaturally fearless fox. Soon Remi is wrapped up in a mysterious organization based on a 1970s sci-fi novel and its radical author. In exchange for his cooperation with this neo-Luddite group, Remi is promised the one thing he thought he could never have again--his daughter.

Zero Bomb by M.T. Hill is a wildly weird science-fiction mystery with plenty of surprises. Hill (The Folded Man, Graft) manages to maintain an intriguing mystery while building a convincing future England. Though plot and perspective take dramatic shifts during the course of the novel, Zero Bomb is ultimately a satisfying look at the future of labor, automation, human frailty and the duality of terrorist versus freedom fighter. Hill's book is a startling depiction of a multitude of modern anxieties. --Tobias Mutter, freelance reviewer