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Fiction Political

The Man Who Saw Seconds

by (author) Alexander Boldizar

Clash Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2024
Political, Time Travel, Crime & Mystery
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

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Preble Jefferson can see five seconds into the future.

Otherwise, he lives an ordinary life. But when a confrontation with a cop on a New York City subway goes tragically wrong, those seconds give Preble the chance to dodge a bullet—causing another man to die in his place.

Government agencies become aware of Preble’s gift, a manhunt ensues, and their ambitions shift from law enforcement to military R&D. Preble will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as events spiral out of control, he must weigh the cost of his gift against the loss of his humanity.

A breathless thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page, The Man Who Saw Seconds explores the nature of time, the brain as a prediction machine, and the tension between the individual and the systems we create. Alexander Boldizar provides an adrenaline-pumping read that will leave you contemplating love, fear and the abyss.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Alexander Boldizar was the first post-independence Slovak citizen to graduate with a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Since then, he has been an art gallery director in Bali, an attorney in San Francisco and Prague, a pseudo-geisha in Japan, a hermit in Tennessee, a paleontologist in the Sahara, a porter in the High Arctic, a consultant on Wall Street, an art critic out of Jakarta and Singapore, and a police-abuse watchdog and Times Square billboard writer in New York City. He now lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Boldizar’s writing has won the PEN/Nob Hill prize, a Somerset Award for literary fiction, and other awards, including a Best New American Voices nomination. His novel, The Ugly, was a best-seller among small presses in the United States with several “Best Book of 2016” awards and lists. He has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is a founding director of a charity that brings circus to youth in at-risk communities, and was once challenged to a leg-wrestling contest by the founder of The Onion.

Editorial Reviews

"The Man Who Saw Seconds is an action thriller…that is genuinely thrilling: the pacing is perfect, and the stakes ratchet up in a horrifying, relentless, and seemingly inevitable progression...I hope this can be genre-spanning, and that it gets the attention it deserves from every awards list, science fiction and not." Locus Magazine

“There are books on brain physiology, books on anarchist philosophy, books on the nature of time. There are certainly books whose hero is pursued by governments of all stripes, books in which the entire world is at stake. There are books whose body counts put Schwarzenegger movies to shame. But there has never been a book to combine all these with supreme intelligence, set not in some remote future but an all-too-plausible present. The Man Who Saw Seconds is the first.” —Aaron Haspel, author of Everything

The Man Who Saw Seconds is a thinking reader’s thriller, the story of a simple family guy who just happens to be able to see five seconds into the future. Meticulously researched, surprisingly philosophical, The Man Who Saw Seconds is a brilliant page-turner, a book about brain function and perception, national intelligence systems and law enforcement, the nature of time and space. A lot of smart people can’t write fiction—too smart, too self-absorbed. But Boldizar is one of our happy exceptions. This book is a blast.” —Pete Duval, author of The Deposition

“Alexander Boldizar's brilliantly wild The Man Who Saw Seconds is part thriller, part gunfight (hell of a gunfight), part intellectual examination of what we mean when we say 'freedom,' and all heart. Absurd, hilarious, and deadly serious, this is the rare novel that is both compulsively readable and philosophically deft. If the thought of Kafka as a chess boxer, or Kundera fighting a polar bear excites you, this is definitely the book for you.” —Mark Powell, author of Hurricane Season

“With Jason Bourne's frenetic pace and The Terminator's body count, The Man Who Saw Seconds is at the surface an action-packed thriller. But as I raced through the pages I also delighted in Boldizar's intelligence and humor as—bit by bit—he shows us how male decision cycles and egos can escalate the mayhem. I kept thinking, 'No, he won't, but then he did, and I was fascinated at every turn. This nail-biting novel left me blinking, reeling and contemplating fear and love, and the horrifying extremes we'll go to for each.” —Emma Payne, author of Technology with Curves

The Man Who Saw Seconds opens with a subway shootout straight out of The Matrix and never lets up. Filled with action, deeply philosophical, and bitterly funny, the book makes you ask yourself what you would do with one slender superpower. In Prebble Jefferson, Boldizar has created a protagonist worthy of Yurick, Pynchon, or Toole, with an added element of magic. The book is an outrageously fun ride. And for all its adventure, at its heart it is the story of a father's love for his wife and child, for whom he will do anything.” —Andrew Case, author of The Big Fear

The Man Who Saw Seconds is a pulse-pounding sci-fi thriller that starts with a bang and never lets up. No novel in recent memory answers the question as convincingly: ‘Will I risk destroying the world to save the people I love?’ Boldizar raises stakes to world-tipping proportions and I literally lost sleep turning pages to discover what happens next. Seconds is a science fiction tour de force.” —Martin Ott, author of Dream State

“By turns hilarious and harrowing, The Man Who Saw Seconds is our era’s Dr. Strangelove, a brilliantly conceived sci-fi absurdist romp, where one man’s tussle with local law enforcement escalates into a battle against the larger social institutions we labor to uphold while struggling to survive within, prisoners of our own fears. For in the derangement of time we must face both monsters and the abyss, while taking care to remember: to fight a monster is to risk becoming one yourself.” —Joe Pan, author of Operating Systems

“The action sequences in The Man Who Saw Seconds are beautifully written, with as much kinetic energy as the bullets Preble dodges. Boldizar has written an un-putdown-able thriller that is extraordinarily fast paced, hard edged and well researched.” —Marc Marins, Instructor, Gracie Survival Tactics for Law Enforcement and SWAT

“Preble Jefferson may very well be our first post-singularity anti-hero. Boldizar writes Preble a brain that takes predictive processing to a logical conclusion, or at least logical enough to get everyone from sci-fi geeks to theoretical neurobiologists atwitter at the possibilities. A brain and his man against a machine and its men; bad men, lost men, scared men. In Preble Jefferson, Boldizar makes us wonder if we have been looking for the singularity in the wrong direction.” —Galen Buckwalter, PhD, CEO of psyML and founding scientist at eHarmony

The Man Who Saw Seconds is wickedly smart, outrageously funny, and unsettling in its accuracy. The satire is pointed, and the action is non-stop. Think: Elmore Leonard meets Nabokov, Michael Crichton meets Vonnegut, Carl Hiaasen meets Joseph Heller. And it has what is probably the best gunfight in literary history. But this book is more than a fast-paced satire. It’s a warning for America, for the world, really. And, at its core, it’s a poignant love story. The Man Who Saw Seconds is destined to be a classic and, with it, Boldizar’s place as one of literature’s most important satirical writers is assured.” —Kevin Winchester, author of Sunflower Dog

“As a federal SWAT officer for over 20 years, it is extremely difficult to depict or explain the murky world of violence and its sliding scale of negative human interactions. The Man Who Saw Seconds not only shows a nuanced insight into that world but does it within a story that you can’t put down.” —Sergeant JD McLeod, National Team Leader, Emergency Response Team (SWAT)