Call Number
Material Type
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 FIC MIL Adult Paperback Fiction Book
Elmira - Steele Memorial Library 1 FICTION Adult Fiction Book

On Order



"One of the most intriguing future cities in years." --Charlie Jane Anders

"Simmers with menace and heartache, suspense and wonder." --Ann Leckie

A Best Book of the Month in

Entertainment Weekly

The Washington Post


B&N Sci-Fi Fantasy Blog


After the climate wars, a floating city is constructed in the Arctic Circle, a remarkable feat of mechanical and social engineering, complete with geothermal heating and sustainable energy. The city's denizens have become accustomed to a roughshod new way of living, however, the city is starting to fray along the edges--crime and corruption have set in, the contradictions of incredible wealth alongside direst poverty are spawning unrest, and a new disease called "the breaks" is ravaging the population.

When a strange new visitor arrives--a woman riding an orca, with a polar bear at her side--the city is entranced. The "orcamancer," as she's known, very subtly brings together four people--each living on the periphery--to stage unprecedented acts of resistance. By banding together to save their city before it crumbles under the weight of its own decay, they will learn shocking truths about themselves.

Blackfish City is a remarkably urgent--and ultimately very hopeful--novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection.

Author Notes

Sam J. Miller is an American author, based in New York. He writes novels and short stories in science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. Before becoming a writer, he worked as a butcher, guitarist in a punk rock band, and a painter's model. He was co-editor of the anthology, Horror After 9/11. His other work includes Blackfish City, and The Art of Starving, which won the 2017 Nebula Awards, Andre Norton Award for young adult science-fiction and fantasy.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the future, a massive floating city in the Arctic, home to a million people, is slowly decaying. Corruption and crime, not to mention a frightening new plague, are destroying the city's self-contained civilization. Then a mysterious woman arrives from the sea and inspires a handful of disparate people to join together to fight for the survival of their home. This has the look and feel of science fiction, but the novel tells a timeless story of rebellion againsta corrupt master, giving it a kind of Hunger Games resonance that reaches beyond any genre boundaries. Miller is a graceful writer, easing us into the story gently, letting us get acclimated to its time and place, before subtly speeding up the pace and plunging us into the characters' race for survival. And what fine characters they are: people of the future, yes, but with all the texture and believability of ordinary folk.--Pitt, David Copyright 2018 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Miller, fresh from his YA debut (The Art of Starving), makes the jump to adult SF with an ambitious, imaginative, and big-hearted dystopian ensemble story that's by turns elegiac and angry. The floating city of Qaanaaq was constructed after many mainland cities burned or sank. The arrival of a woman with two unusual companions-an orca and a polar bear-draws a disparate group together. Ankit, a political aide, wants to free her institutionalized birth mother; her brother, Kaev, is a brain-damaged fighter at the end of his career; Fill, a rich playboy, has the breaks, an illness that throws sufferers into strangers' memories; and Soq, an ambitious nonbinary street messenger, is trying to hustle their way into a better life. Together, they uncover a dramatic series of secrets, connections, and political plots. Miller has crafted a thriller that unflinchingly examines the ills of urban capitalism. Qaanaaq is a beautiful and brutal character in its own right, rendered in poetic interludes. The novel stumbles only at the very end, in a denouement that feels just a little too hurried for the characters' twisting journey. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

In the aftermath of climate change, refugees from flooded and destroyed cities crowd into Qaanaaq, a floating metropolis constructed north of Iceland. They bring with them the same fears, flaws, grasping desires, and hopes they'd held prior to the collapse. The once powerful and wealthy continue to exert their influence-setting groups against one another to deflect the anger and discontent that arises. The nanobonded, victims of experimentation, who can connect with animals by virtue of their enhanced blood, are particularly hated and ostracized. Atrocities are committed, families are torn apart. Meanwhile, "the breaks," a potentially viral memory disease, infects much of the population. Into this backdrop an enigmatic woman accompanied by a polar bear, and pulled on a raft by an orca, arrives-willing to do whatever it takes to find and reunite her people. This new offering from the author of the YA novel, The Art of Starving, explores the tenuous survival of our species in a not-so-distant or impossible future. VERDICT With detailed worldbuilding, enriched through multiple characters' points of view, this fiercely exciting story should find an audience among fans of apocalyptic sf. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/17.]-Karin Thogersen, Huntley Area P.L., IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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