MILTON, ONTARIO, September 2, 2022 – AIs maintain the infrastructure and control the transit of the Toronto of the future. But when technology fails, a group of people with extrasensory gifts may be the city’s only hope.
This is the premise behind new science fiction novel Unseen by Cathy Hird. In classic solarpunk fashion, the novel presents a hopeful vision of the future in which technology works in tandem with nature, utilizing clean energy and green initiatives such as rooftop vegetable gardens in the midst of a sprawling high-tech urban core. By setting the story in Toronto with familiar streets and landmarks such as High Park, Hird brings this plausible and forward-thinking future to the world we know.
Blended in with this future is a diverse cast of characters with their own abilities, called the Gifted. Characters of different cultures and classes and varying levels of neurodiversity display Gifts ranging from empathy to an affinity with plants to an ability to detect gravitational shifts. Often shunned for what seems to ordinary people as unnatural abilities, they highlight the book’s central theme of natural cooperation by living in group communities, helping each other in their jobs and daily lives.
Hird is a multiple published author and weaver who lives on the shore of Georgian Bay. She originally conceived of the novel during a panel at CAN-CON, a speculative fiction convention in Ottawa, Ontario, during which a number of mashup ideas were proposed by the audience and panel members. While the novel ultimately strayed from her idea of magic in a post-apocalypse world inhabited only by robots, it did culminate in Unseen, her first science fiction novel.
Unseen will be released by Milton, Ontario-based science fiction and fantasy publisher Brain Lag in February 2023. Cover art for the book will be revealed and preorders will open on October 21, 2022.
Unseen is Brain Lag’s forty-third book to be released and Hird joins twenty-one other signed authors so far. The book is the publisher’s second scheduled release in 2023 of twelve.
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