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From Seb Doubinsky, author of The Song of Synth, The Babylonian Trilogy, White City, Absinth, Omega Gray, and Suan Ming, comes his highly anticipated next installment in the City-States Cycle. Missing Signal—a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a government conspiracy? Agent Terrence Kovacs has worked for the New Petersburg Counter-Intel Department propagating fake UFO stories for so long that even he has a hard time separating fact from fiction. Especially when he’s approached by a beautiful woman named Vita, who claims she’s been sent from another planet to liberate Earth.
“A tiny, jeweled puzzle-box of a book, strangely but entertainingly crossing Kafka with Philip K. Dick to make something quite new.” —Tad Williams, bestselling author of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series and the Otherland series
“Seb Doubinsky’s Missing Signal is the latest installment in the City-State cycle and it is dystopian fiction at its most fragmented, wondrous and irrevocably humane. Doubisnky’s prose is lean, mean and often hilarious in the melancholy way of a Godard hero unable to escape his past no matter how fast he hurtles toward a Burroughsian future. Immersive and unputdownable noir sf from a writer at the top of his game.” —J.S. Breukelaar, author of American Monster and Aletheia
“UFO conspiracies and the devil’s drug Synth. Deep states ruling the surface world and tripled crossed info proxy wars. And the divisions. All those beautiful divisions, that each new day look more and more like the fencing of livestock pens. In Missing Signal, master social commentator Seb Doubinsky pulls us further into his near-future/probably-now European continent carved up not by current borders and bloody treaties, but by the social, political, and racial scalpel cuts of the City States, blending science fiction with current fact in his always intense, sometimes horrifying, and often quite tragic exploration of a doomed race dancing toward midnight, smiles fixed and glasses raised. Dystopia has arrived with a whimper, and no one scheduled the parade. Maybe after the next commercial break.” — T.E. Grau, author of I Am The River and The Nameless Dark
- Foreword Reviews – “Beneath the entertaining wrapper of science fiction, Missing Signal is a masterfully written work, both provocative and rewarding.” – Full Review
- Publishers Weekly – “The tense, sparse prose of this novella—which explicitly names its inspirations in the aesthetics of Michelangelo Antonioni’s “beautiful emptiness,” William S. Burroughs’s theories, and the porn and B-movies of the 1960s and ’70s, as well as the tropes of alien encounters in early SF—matches its strong themes of loneliness, paranoia, and the search for identity in a world of deception.” – Full Review
- Nudge-Book Magazine, Linda Hepworth (5 stars) – “I’m delighted to have discovered an exciting new voice in Seb Doubinsky’s unusual novella. This is not a traditional sci-fi story but is one which offers a disturbing glimpse into a dystopian city-state future which reflects, albeit in an exaggerated way, so much of all that is disturbing in our 21st century world.” – Full Review
- Dead End Follies – “Seb Doubinsky’s always been a critique of modern politics and the tyrannical fallacies of consumerism. Missing Signal is another addition to that nuanced, but powerful legacy as it’s a novel about being told what to do and who to believe, which doesn’t lead to any satisfying answers if you don’t proactively choose your own path through a maze of make believes and misinformation.” – Full Review
- Breach Magazine, Eugen Bacon – “Crisp chapters cartwheel you in an incredible odyssey that gets wilder and weirder as it possesses you . . . Something about the novel abolishes distraction. Once you open the book, you are committed. No hard work, just a heart-thud moment, electricity, and you’re hooked. In its tiny chapters pulsing with voltage, the narrative leaves nothing short. The reading is like a golden egg hunt, literary gifts tucked away in findable nests.” – Full Review
Praise for Previous City-States Cycle Books:
(Review of The Song of Synth) “Doubinsky’s dark, drug-soaked fable will remind American readers of Philip K. Dick. . . at once gritty and dreamlike, somber and sexy, this is a powerful tale of guilt, addiction, and self-discovery.” – Publisher’s Weekly
(Review of The Song of Synth) “Seb Doubinsky is a great writer, both rambunctious and subtle, who can do anything―and often does, playing with genres and literary conventions at will. Read his work. Read this book.” – Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times-bestselling author of the Southern Reach Trilogy