Nineteen Eighty-Four meets Squid Game, via The Office, in this boldly dystopian novel
The agents don’t know what they’re agents of, but they’re very busy agenting, which means watching endless data feeds in their cubicles, cubicles that are piled one on top of another in a massive tower in which the agents both live and work. Empty floors serve as battlefields where different guilds of agents fight for territory. It seems that defenestration is the only way out, the ‘ballet of suicides.’
It is here we meet Theodore, who has amputated his own toes and must maintain a 30-degree angle to keep his balance. And Solveig, who is pregnant, though agents don’t usually have sex, as well as the artist Lazslo and self-mutilating Clara. And then there’s Hick, the new agent, who seems strangely happy and occupies a cubicle that is strategically very important.
The battle for key territory is heating up, and the agents aren’t sure which of them will make it out alive. If, indeed, that’s what any of them want…
The author of the acclaimed The Laws of the Skies turns his hand from literary horror to futuristic dystopianism in this unforgettable marriage between The Office, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Squid Game.
"Engrossing and unpredictable ... a thoughtful and provocative speculative novel that casts a keen critical eye toward the contemporary world, addressing deep questions about the meanings of life, community, and work." – Forward Reviews
“Unflinching in its savagery, the nightmarish poetry of this modern Lord of the Flies is undeniable.” – Publishers Weekly starred review on The Laws of the Skies
“A haunting book, if you can keep reading.” – LitHub on The Laws of the Skies
“The Law of the Skies is not an easy book to digest ... but I found it exhilarating to read a novel that’s this unflinching, this nihilistic, and also this deeply profound.” –Locus Magazine
About the authors
Grégoire Courtois lives and works in Burgundy, where he runs the independent bookstore Obliques, which he bought in 2011. A novelist and playwright, he has published four novels with Le Quartanier: Révolution (2011), Suréquipée (2015), Les lois du ciel (2016), and Les agents (2019). In 2013 he founded Caractères, an international book festival in Auxerre, which he continues to run.
Rhonda Mullins is a Montreal-based translator who has translated many books from French into English, including Jocelyne Saucier’s And Miles To Go Before I Sleep, Grégoire Courtois’ The Laws of the Skies, Dominique Fortier’s Paper Houses, and Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s Suzanne. She is a seven-time finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation, winning the award in 2015 for her translation of Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals. Novels she has translated were contenders for CBC Canada Reads in 2015 and 2019 and one was a finalist for the 2018 Best Translated Book Award. Mullins was the inaugural literary translator in residence at Concordia University in 2018. She is a mentor to emerging translators in the Banff International Literary Translation Program.
"Novels like this are why we need the horror genre." –Winnipeg Free Press
"[This] novel is about how work, as defined by late-stage capitalism, has gradually become the sole purpose of our lives. " – Ian Mond, Locus Magazine
"Engrossing and unpredictable … a thoughtful and provocative speculative novel that casts a keen critical eye toward the contemporary world, addressing deep questions about the meanings of life, community, and work." – Foreword Reviews
"The satire is as deliciously dark as a hell-hound’s maw." – Zsuzsi Gartner, Literary Review of Canada