Publication Date: 11/05/2023 ISBN: 9781526653680 Category:

Whether Violent or Natural

Natasha Calder

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 11/05/2023 ISBN: 9781526653680 Category:


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‘Darkly unsettling’ Guardian
‘Intoxicating – dark, heady, lyrical’ Daily Telegraph
‘Terrifying and inventive’ Observer

In a world devastated by antimicrobial resistance, two survivors are thrown into crisis when a woman washes ashore on the remote island where they live


Years after complete antibiotic resistance has resulted in the loss of most human life on earth, Kit and Crevan eke out an existence on a remote island. Under a collapsing castle, they spend their days in an underground bunker packed with emergency stores, venturing out only at night. They are safe.

One evening a woman washes ashore, nearly drowned. Crevan wants to keep her alive, but Kit isn’t so sure.

The new arrival will implode Kit and Crevan’s world with dire and fatal consequences, churning up the waters of the past and unearthing secrets they have kept from each other and from themselves. Who is really in control – and what are they both capable of doing to protect their haven?

Gripping, treacherous and visceral, Whether Violent or Natural is an unforgettably dark and strikingly original work by a major new talent.

‘Sly, sharp, and utterly captivating’ Rory Power, New York Times-bestselling author of Wilder Girls

‘Hits you like a shot of the very good stuff … Dark-hearted, complex, and accomplished’ C. A. Fletcher, author of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World

Publisher Review

Whether Violent or Natural hits you like a shot of the very good stuff - which it is. I downed it in one. It went down very smoothly. There is - in all the right ways - a faint top-note of Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory, but it's very much its own dark-hearted, complex, and accomplished thing, with an engaging narrator as snarled in the seductive tangle of her own words as she is hemmed in by the overgrown vegetation that covers the small island on which she is trapped -- C A FLETCHER, author of A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World Intelligent and refreshing ... The prose is intoxicating - dark, heady, lyrical * DAILY TELEGRAPH * Sly, sharp, and utterly captivating ... Calder's voice is one I won't soon forget -- RORY POWER, New York Times-bestselling author of Wilder Girls Praise for THE OFFSET: '"Smart, compelling and absolutely of the moment -- LUKE JENNINGS, author of the Killing Eve series A twisted reversal of The Handmaid's Tale set in a ravaged dystopia, simmering with menace and tension. Bleak, haunting and intriguing -- JENNIFER SAINT, author of Ariadne Thrilling, terrifying and beautifully crafted ... the perfect science-fiction novel for our times. I devoured it -- ANGELA SAINI, author of Inferior A powerfully told debut * SFX MAGAZINE * An honest, terrifying and sincere look into our future -- KEREN LANDESMAN, Geffen Award-winning author of The Heart of the Circle Spare, elegant, and thought-provoking as the best classic science fiction ... Calder Szewczak is a name to watch -- Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse The Offset crushed me. This is an expertly - and starkly - written, well-drawn eco-dystopian novel about the ultimate measure of austerity taken in order to save the planet. There's so much that was done well here: the world, the science, the societal conflict - but to get into the (possibly carnivorous) weeds would distract from soul of this book. It is a bare-knuckle punch to the heart. Calder Szewczak made me suffer - brilliantly -- CHRIS PANATIER, author of The Phlebotomist A prophetic, urgent, gripping read that throws into question what saving the world really means. A tender warning of a book, lest our efforts become as futile as our tragedies -- NATALIA THEODORIDOU, World Fantasy Award Winner and Nebula Finalist A chilling evocation of a possible future -- SUSANNAH WISE, author of This Fragile Earth A bleak but thoughtful dystopian sci-fi. It asks questions about where we are & where we are going through intricate world building and a compelling story. Very entertaining, compulsive & thought-provoking -- KATE SAWYER, author of The Stranding Finished this and now I'm slightly broken. If, like me, every so often you just want a bit of beautiful, brutal dystopia this is the one for you! A complex world filled with complex characters that draw the reader in. This is a beautifully written, brutal piece of dystopian fiction that does not shy away from the issues we must face today -- ELIZABETH LEE, author of Cunning Women

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