A New York Times Editors' Choice Pick!
A Best Book of the Year for Time | NPR | The Guardian | Gizmodo| Portalist | New York Public Library
A Most Anticipated Pick for USA Today | Bustle | Buzzfeed | Goodreads | Nerdist | io9 | WBUR | Polygon | The New Scientist
Connecticut Book Award for Fiction winner! Dragon Award Finalist!
"In this ambitious novel, dense with perspectives and social commentary, Onyebuchi dreams up disparate lives in a crumbling future America—with gentrifiers returning to Earth from space colonies and laborers trying to make a precarious living—while leaving room for moments of beauty and humor."—The New York Times, Editors' Choice
In his adult novel debut, Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and NAACP Image Award finalist and ALA Alex and New England Book Award winner Tochi Onyebuchi delivers a sweeping science fiction epic in the vein of Samuel R. Delany and Station Eleven.
In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.
A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.
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A desolated Earth is the vivid backdrop for this harrowing, visionary sci-fi novel from Onyebuchi (Riot Baby). A highly politicized viral pandemic has divided America, and conservatives who resent regulations leave the planet to establish the first space colony. Radiation and pollution due to climate change soon cause wealthy, privileged parties to follow to the Colonies in a drastic, extraterrestrial form of white flight, leaving the disadvantaged abandoned on the hazardous Earth with little help. Decades later, Jonathan and David, a white couple from the Colonies, move to New Haven with romantic ideas of starting a new life on Earth. The perspectives of Black New Haven laborers Linc and Bishop form a sharp contrast, and they know better than to idealize their circumstances. These are just a few of the large cast Onyebuchi cycles through in a collection of narrative vignettes that allows readers glimpses of a land plagued by the persistent nightmares of racism, gentrification, radiation poisoning, and escalating street violence. Onyebuchi's biblically inspired cautionary tale offers a hauntingly beautiful portrait of the decaying planet, though the mosaic structure and blurring timelines can sometimes take readers out of the narrative as they work to piece events together. Still, the emotions are raw and real, and Onyebuchi doesn't shy away from the more heart-wrenching moments. It's urgent, gorgeous work.