This is the second title in the Black Dawn series of speculative fiction from AK Press.
An epic political fantasy in the tradition of Tepper and Le Guin that explores the question of what an anarchist community can do to resist the assaults that are sure to come if any such social formation were to exist.
Dimos Horacki is a Borolian journalist and a cynical patriot, his muckraking days behind him. But when his newspaper ships him to the front, he’s embedded in the Imperial Army and the reality of colonial expansion is laid bare before him. His adventures take him from villages and homesteads to the great refugee city of Hronople, built of glass, steel, and stone, all while a war rages around him. The empire fights for coal and iron, but the anarchists of Hron fight for their way of life. A Country of Ghosts is a novel of utopia besieged that challenges every premise of contemporary society.
Praise for A Country of Ghosts
“An epic political fantasy in the tradition of Tepper and Le Guin—there is no writer working today quite like Margaret Killjoy. A brave, unapologetic, and fiercely original book.”
—Laurie Penny, author of Everything Belongs to the Future
"This gritty, evocative novel explores the question of what an anarchist community can do to resist the assaults that are sure to come if any such social formation were to exist. Yet more important still is that this is an exciting and mysterious novel, a story of war and love in some fictional mountainous country with echoes of nineteenth century Latin America, eastern Europe, central Asia; by the time you’re done you feel you’ve gotten a glimpse into a forgotten part of our history that is nevertheless very real."
—Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy
“A Country of Ghosts is entertaining, its politics intriguing, and the setting is a place I found myself missing after I turned the last page.”
—Nick Mamatas, author of I am Providence and Bullettime
"Margaret Killjoy’s A Country Of Ghosts is a remarkable book, one that demonstrates the power of speculative fiction and Fantasy as a tool to imagine new ways of living outside of repressive regimes."
—Jonathan Thornton, The Fantasy Hive
"Killjoy has created a big world with big problems and squeezed it into a brief novel. She has established a framework for further exploration and there is much room for expansion."
—Luke Beirne, Strange Horizons
"The writing is accessible and relatable, with just enough of the haughty flair required of fantasy narration. The plot is fun and well-paced. Whether you’re a seasoned anarchist who’s almost given up on explaining these ideas to others, or someone merely curious about the topic, this book suits. Here, freedom is understood as a relationship between people, complete with the responsibility that entails. Feels pretty close to home these days."
—Jonathan Valelly, Broken Pencil
"A short novel with the arc of an epic, A Country of Ghosts is a story of people who will give up everything, including their own lives, to live in a better world."
—Wendy J. Fox, Buzzfeed Books
"This utopian fantasy reminiscent of Ursula K. Le Guin is a thought-provoking read."
—Margaret Kingsbury, Buzzfeed News
"This is a fierce, intelligent, hopeful book—a fantasy (of sorts) of unusual seriousness, humanity, and wit."
—Felix Gilman, author of The Half-Made World
"Gulliver’s Travels meets The Dispossessed. It’s a wild ride, and you don’t want to miss it."
—Gabriel Kuhn, author of Life Under the Jolly Roger
Margaret Killjoy is a transfeminine author born and raised in Maryland who was spent her adult life traveling with no fixed home. A 2015 graduate of Clarion West, Margaret’s short fiction has been published by Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Vice’s Terraform, and Fireside Fiction, amongst others. She is the author of We Won't Be Here Tomorrow, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, and The Barrow Will Send What it May. She is also the host of the podcast Live Like the World is Dying and Cool People Who Did Cool Stuff on iHeartRadio.