The Ragpicker

Coming July 23, 2024!

The Ragpicker wanders the lush, deserted Earth, haunted by failing avatars and fragmented texts. He’s searching for traces of his long-dead husband but his journey is interrupted by a girl, Ysmany, fleeing her remote village. Together they cross the flourishing, treacherous landscape towards sanctuary. Yet the signals and static of the previous age echo in the Ragpicker’s mind and whisper in the girl’s dreams, drawing them toward the gap between map and territory—while offering precious hope.

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About the Book

Praise for The Ragpicker

“Weird, bold, intimate, and devastating, The Ragpicker is shatteringly lovely. Easily the best thing I’ve read this year.”
—Kerstin Hall, author of The Border Keeper and Asunder

“If humanity is information, what happens when that information degrades? This astonishing book takes us into a future that feels utterly real, and introduces us to characters we can’t help but love as painfully as they learn to love each other. Gorgeous, strange and unforgettable.”
—Kate Heartfield, author of The Embroidered Book

Surreal, lyrical, and boundlessly inventive, THE RAGPICKER is unlike any novel I’ve ever read. An apocalyptic tale with a bloody beating heart at its center.”
—Keith Rosson, award-winning author of Fever House and Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons

“An engulfing, absorbing trek through a unique post-apocalyptic Earth where the titular character is haunted by the remnants of a former age and yet discovers what is lost is not necessarily gone forever.”
—Eeleen Lee, author of Liquid Crystal Nightingale

“Equal parts cosy and horror, The Ragpicker explores our human need for love, for forgiveness—and for meaning, illuminated in flashes via ancient texts and even a lightning-strike of a one-act play. A gem of a post-apocalyptic novel about kindness and hope.”
—Genoveva Dimova, author of Foul Days

“The Ragpicker is an action-laden quest story of a girl and a wanderer and a baby. It’s a mesmeric post-apocalyptic narrative with titillating hand combat scenes. It’s a story full of heart and angst, courage and belief.”
—Eugen Bacon, Aurealis Magazine

The Ragpicker is a genre-defying mashup of post-apocalyptic greatness … comprised of one-part post-apocalyptic doomsday with an undertone of darkness for the average everyday horror fan; one-part science fiction with enough emotional edge that hardcore fans of Ursula K. LeGuin will love and adore–as well as a modern touch of traditional cyberpunk that tech-junkies will recognize and appreciate.”
—Jon R. Myers, The Horror Zine

“Disquieting . . . A post-apocalyptic novel striving to be different and mostly succeeding; one that argues that no matter how much work Apple (or a Meta) does to blend both realities, it’s only when we look up from the screen that we truly connect with the people we love.”
—Ian Mond, Locus Magazine

The Ragpicker interlaces nature and technology masterfully throughout this tale of existential and spiritual connection. Joel Dane crafts a post-technological apocalypse world that is both lush and dilapidated, full of flora and fauna as well as copper wires and digital networks. In the war between us and the otherThe Ragpicker explores the urgent need for true connectivity.”
—Samantha Hui, Independent Book Review

“The relationship between Ysmany, the Ragpicker, and the baby, and the ways it is perceived by those they encounter, forms the heart of the story and keeps the pages turning . . . plenty of enticing speculative ideas here.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for the Cry Pilot Trilogy

“Riveting action paired with a sharp psychoemotional landscape combine for the explosive launch of a futuristic trilogy.”
—Publishers Weekly

“I picked it up, I started reading. I kept reading. This is that kind of book, intense, involving, with intriguing world development. Recommended. Joel Dane is a writer to watch.”
—C.J. Cherryh, author of the Foreigner series

“Joel Dane’s Cry Pilot is a hyperkinetic and unflinching battle narrative that never loses sight of the truth of being a soldier: the squad comes before all else. Told with momentum and immediacy . . . authentic, exciting, and excellent.”
—Marko Kloos, author of Terms of Enlistment

“Awesome read! The language takes you into the world of the story. The first-person voice invites you to internalise the world of the character, a time and place strangely prescient. Joel Dane has created a uniquely familiar world reminiscent of the Mesozoic Era of large predators, only in the future. I look forward to seeing what he writes next.”
—Nico Lathouris, screenwriter, Mad Max: Fury Road

“In Cry Pilot, Joel Dane has imagined a fascinating high-tech future Earth where ecological collapse and runaway evolution have conspired to create enemies no army has ever encountered before. Told through the eyes of a young soldier seeking to escape a grim past, the action-packed plot holds tight to a human dimension.”
—Linda Nagata, author of the Red Trilogy

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Dystopian, LGBTQ, Science Fiction
Tags: all books, audiobooks, Coming Soon
ASIN: 1946154598
ISBN: 9781946154590
About the Author
Joel Dane

Joel Dane is the author of twenty-four novels across several genres—and pseudonyms. He’s written for TV and podcasts, including a dozen episodes of a Netflix Original Series and an audio drama starring Jameela Jamil and Manny Jacinto. As Joel Dane, he wrote the Cry Pilot trilogy for Ace Books, and Marigold Breach for Realm.