Short Take: Beyond Redemption – Michael R. Fletcher

Our sci fi/fantasy imprint Voyager seems to show up with starred reviews in the trade journals every other week these days. It feels like the editors are identifying some pretty original genre stories marked by first-rate writing. Beyond Redemption got a rare starred and boxed review in PW and as well as two other raves. It’s epic dark fantasy set in a world where the idea that belief defines reality is taken to its logical conclusion–only the craziest, most delusional individuals have beliefs strong enough to affect serious change. It’s a compelling premise in our current geopolitical landscape wedded to an old-fashioned warrior story, with shape shifters a zombies thrown in for good measure.

“In this disturbing and original fantasy, set in a dark world run by the Theocrats, perception is reality, and altered perceptions can alter reality. The most insane…are also the most powerful.….Fletcher populated the landscape with an array of mental disorders, turning a well-thumbed psychiatric manual into a dramatis personae. His protagonists worry about their fate in the Afterdeath as they commit their crimes, but they always keep their slim hopes for redemption. The dystopia and its victims never quite collapse under the weight of the horror, and their perseverance encourages the readers to endure the grimness until the thought-provoking conclusion.”
Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)

Incredibly brutal, this unusual fantasy world from Fletcher (88) is populated by delusional sociopaths—literally. Mental disorders such as megalomania and kleptomania provide the sufferers power over those around them, giving the whole world an off-kilter manic edge. If you like your fantasy überdark, this might be an intriguing Freudian excursion.”
Library Journal

“Practically every character in this author’s new novel is insane, deplorable, or both, but in some dark corner of themselves, readers will admire all of them and thus be compelled to follow their grippingly fascinating story through to its terrifying climax. The journey is dark and emotionally taxing, but there aren’t many fantasy novels as smart, ambitious, and excellently written as this one.”

Beyond Redemption (9780062387035) by Michael R. Fletcher. $15.99 trade paper original 6/16/15 on sale.

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