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Invisible Things

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Invisible Things by Mat Johnson
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Jun 28, 2022 | ISBN 9780593416266 | 522 Minutes

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  • Apr 04, 2023 | ISBN 9780593229279

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  • Jun 28, 2022 | ISBN 9780593229262

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Praise

Invisible Things is a science fiction novel with an eye on the now. Mat Johnson’s latest book delivers a biting satire of American politics and class issues—from the vantage point of outer space. . . . Characters or events in his book call to mind Kurt Vonnegut’s The Sirens of Titan and Cat’s Cradle; Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, especially the story ‘Mars Is Heaven!’; Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land . . . various Twilight Zone episodes; and even the B-movie classic Forbidden Planet, especially notable for its invisible ‘Monsters from the Id.’ . . . [It’s] tempting to employ the language of literary theory and dub Invisible Things an affectionate, intertextual construct, one that draws on half the tropes of modern sf. Still, awareness of echoes and borrowings merely enriches an already exciting story.”The Washington Post

“In the sense of being an intergalactic adventure, it’s a wild departure for the author. But it’s also of a piece with work that’s become instantly recognizable for its blend of satiric wit, heavy underlying themes (including his own mixed-race origins) and a stubborn undercurrent of optimism. You just know a Mat Johnson novel when you read one. . . . Taking off from its wild setup, the novel delivers belly laughs and gut punches in quick succession. . . . Even if American society is turning dystopian fiction into a sucker’s game, Invisible Things feels au courant.”Los Angeles Times

“In this biting comic allegory, Johnson (Pym) uses a space mission gone awry to expose our preference for embracing mass denial over grappling with distressing truths. . . . Johnson’s showstopping finale reminds us how much we can accomplish if we dare to face reality.”Star Tribune

“This refreshing, stand-alone sci-fi novel is both surprisingly funny and insightful in its exploration of group dynamics.”BuzzFeed

“The funny novel that doesn’t evaporate as you turn the page is hard to pull off. So much so that I read Invisible Things waiting for a crash that never came. . . . Mat Johnson, whose great novel Pym took on Poe, is that good.”Chicago Tribune

“Relentlessly cynical and sarcastic, Mat Johnson’s Invisible Things offers sociopolitical commentary wrapped in the trappings of a classic space adventure. . . . The intriguing mystery combined with Johnson’s irreverent sense of humor makes it easy for the reader to engage with the satirical elements—a refreshing trait given that social commentary in modern sci-fi is often either watered down, thrown in by default or both. Invisible Things is a wonderful sci-fi ride full of lovable characters that dissects modern American capitalism with a barbed, sardonic wit.”BookPage (starred review)

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