Publisher: AK Press
Released: October 10, 2023
Fierce, poignant sci-fi, about hacking, love, and resistance.
Jumping to alternate realities sounds great, if you're in control. But what if you're not? What if you're propelled away from the people and places you love the most in the blink of an eye? And what if these involuntary journeys happen because your neurochemistry is different, and your brain works differently?
Beautiful, compassionate, and resourceful as she is, this is Rea's problem. A latina trans woman and an academic, she is beloved by a tight circle of friends, who fully accept her without knowing the cause of her disappearances. But she is haunted by the lovers and family that she cannot trace back to, and fears she might be separated from them forever.
Each time she transits into a new time and space, everything shifts—even the films and writing Rea produces readjust their molecules to match her new quantum reality. But Rea, a brilliant lay scientist, is determined to crack the code, and end her quest for lasting connections and home.
Praise for Atoms Never Touch:
“Readers are left with a vision for the future and the possibility of more narratives in this world.” —Booklist
“A shockingly powerful, wrenchingly beautiful queer cyberpunk fable from debut novelist and veteran artist micha cárdenas. In this slim yet unforgettably striking story, cárdenas shows us the world we live in through a dark mirror, transforming the language of cybernetics, quantum physics, and neurobiology into haunting metaphors for heartbreak, social struggle, and revolution…Cárdenas fearlessly plumbs the depths of her characters' terror and trauma as they resist the depredations of fascism and digital surveillance, but also infuses her novel with hope, healing, and possibility.” —Kai Cheng Thom, author of Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir
“I see this book as in the lineage of Octavia Butler's Kindred, an explicitly quantum exploration of the possibility of ancestral love. I love the characters and the queer questions they raise with their living. And I love the message, which is that love is the code, love is the pass, love is the key, love is all, love is all, love is all.” —Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Undrowned
“What more could we ask for? T4T love and sex, anti-government sabotage, travel through the multiverse! Atoms Never Touch is nourishment for radicals surviving the current apocalypse.” —Dean Spade, author of Mutual Aid: Building Solidarity During this Crisis (and the Next)
micha cárdenas is a multidisciplinary artist, poet, and filmmaker. She is Associate Professor of Performance, Play and Design, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
adrienne maree brown is a writer rooted in Detroit who now lives in Durham, NC. She is a student of the works of Octavia E. Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin. Her books include Octavia’s Brood, Emergent Strategy, Grievers, and Maroons. Her visionary fiction has appeared in The Funambulist, Harvard Design Review, and Dark Mountain.