Future Feeling - A Novel Book
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RELEASE DATE - 3 JUNE 2021
An embittered dog walker obsessed with a social media influencer inadvertently puts a curse a young man and must adventure into mysterious dimension in order to save him in this wildly inventive, delightfully subversive, genre nonconforming debut novel about illusion, magic, technology, kinship, and the emergent future.
The year is 20, and Penfield R. Henderson is in a rut. When he's not walking dogs for cash or responding to booty calls from his B-list celebrity hookup, he's holed up in his dingy Bushwick apartment obsessing over holograms of Aiden Chase, a fellow trans man and influencer documenting his much smoother transition into picture-perfect masculinity on the Gram. After an IRL encounter with Aiden leaves Pen feeling especially resentful, Pen enlists his roommates, the Witch and the Stoner-Hacker, to put their respective talents to use in hexing Aiden. Together, they gain access to Aiden's social media account and post a picture of Pen's aloe plant, Alice, tied to a curse:
Whosoever beholds the aloe will be pushed into the Shadowlands.
When the hex accidentally bypasses Aiden, sending another young trans man named Blithe to the Shadowlands (the dreaded emotional landscape through which every trans person must journey to achieve true self-actualization), the Rhiz (the quasi-benevolent big brother agency overseeing all trans matters) orders Pen and Aiden to team up and retrieve him. The two trace Blithe to a dilapidated motel in California and bring him back to New York, where they try to coax Blithe to stop speaking only in code and awkwardly try to pass on what little trans wisdom they possess. As the trio makes its way in a world that includes pitless avocados and subway cars that change color based on occupants' collective moods but still casts judgment on anyone not perfectly straight, Pen starts to learn that sometimes a family isn't just the people who birthed you.
Magnificently imagined, linguistically dazzling, and riotously fun, Future Feeling presents an alternate future in which advanced technology still can't replace human connection but may give the trans community new ways to care for its own.
An O, The Oprah Magazine LGBTQ Book That Will Change the Literary Landscape Next Year
One of The Millions' Most Anticipated Books of the Year
An LGBTQ Reads Most Anticipated Book of the Year
"A trans man armed with the power of self-reflection embarks on a hero's journey . . . akin to a queer millennial version of The Alchemist, complete with proverbs and personal growth . . . This is a modern allegory with a unique voice--searching, questioning, vulnerable, witty."
"Queers reconstructing and shaping their stories, including getting it wrong and needing some guidance, are at the core of this novel . . . The futuristic New York and Los Angeles that form the backdrop for a modern and youthful queer culture make for stimulating immersion."
"Set in the near future, Lake's quirky, chaotic debut follows trans man Penfield Henderson as he wrestles with his self-destructive impulses and stumbles his way toward finding a queer community . . . This coming-of-age journey through the surreality of gender will please readers seeking speculative queer fiction."
"Future Feeling will fit on your shelf right next to Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl . . . Lake has constructed a wonderful world where trans identity is celebrated and centred, where trans characters are allowed to be messy and complicated and human. It's, quite honestly, the kind of book I've been waiting for for a really long time. I'm so glad it's finally here."
Christina Orlando, Tor
"I devoured this funny, charming book of trans friendships and sly cultural commentary; a story about what truly matters for those of us lost in the maelstrom of identity and media. Here's how unable I was to put it down: I accidentally dropped it in the toilet, fished it out, and kept right on reading."
Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
"In this brilliant and breathtakingly inventive debut, Lake captures the nuances, pain, and absurdity of obsession and idolisation as we follow this refreshingly original narrator navigating the all-too-relatable process of feeling comfortable in one's own skin and becoming a self. I couldn't put this book down."
Zaina Arafat, author of You Exist Too Much