April 26, 2016
6 x 9, 304 pp
Trade Cloth US $24.50
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This dark comedy explores the lost universes of disgraced idol Dylan Greenyears. Dylan had always wanted to live as many lives as he could—that was the appeal of being an actor. But at the end of a brief, bright stint as a Hollywood heartthrob, Dylan loses the lead in Titanic and exiles himself and his wife to a recently settled exoplanet called New Taiwan.
For a while, life beyond Earth seems uncannily un-wondrous. Dylan teaches at an American prep school, raises a family with his high school sweetheart, and lives out his restlessness through literature. But then a box of old fan mail (and the hint of a galaxy-wide conspiracy) offers Dylan a chance to recapture the past. As he tries to balance this transdimensional midlife crisis against family life, Dylan encounters a cast of extraordinary characters: a supercomputer with aspirations of godhood; a Mormon-fundamentalist superfan; an android Frank Sinatra; a sampling of his alternate selves; and, once again, the love of his lives.
A singularly mind-blowing, genre-bending performance, King of the Worlds is a literary take on science fiction that throws cosmology, technology, 90s pop culture, and religion into an existential blender that is by turns tragic and absurd, elegiac and filled with wonder.
Praise for King of the Worlds...
“When we recompose ourselves on distant planets we cannot help but re-inscribe an inner landscape in which we battle the familiar bug-eyed monsters: anxiety, unfaithfulness, regret, high-school drama students, interstellar Mormons, and ourselves. All we can hope for it is to find ourselves resensitized and that is Mr. Gammarino’s triumph in this richly funny spaceship of a book.” — Paul Park, author of All Those Vanished Engines and The Princess of Roumania
“Dylan Greenyears’ story is so full of humanity that the otherworldly dimensions, alien characters and alternate histories become a well-made container for the breadth and scope of our most keen longings. Effortlessly original, sharply drawn, comically wise, King of the Worlds launches the reader across the cosmos on a hilariously tormented and seriously fun adventure.” — A.A. Attanassio, author Radix and The Last Legends of Earth
“Smart, sharp and funny. A dazzling tour of the multiverse.” — Robert Onopa, author of The Pleasure Tube and 2020
“King of the Worlds is an amazingly imaginative, whirling performance of a novel, at turns firmly grounded and absurd, hilarious and heartbreaking. M. Thomas Gammarino is not like other writers. And that’s a good thing: there’s so much energy, madness and intelligence in this book...a thrill and a joy to read.” — Peter Mountford, author of The Dismal Science and A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism
"...hints of other greats like Kurt Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace...represent some of the funnest aspects of a novel that takes its fun pretty seriously...It's almost like looking back in time to a literary landscape that is long gone now. Or maybe into the future." — Art Edwards, Entropy Magazine
"If Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams had a baby, it would look a lot like 'King of the Worlds.' With its tongue-in-cheek humor and intelligent allusions, this is the kind of fiction that playfully reassembles tropes and rejects all labels. It's a dark riot." — Mindy-Lynn Sanico, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"Gammarino has the prose chops to shape-shift bits and pieces of our contemporary reality into pure nitrous oxide."— Honolulu Magazine
"Gammarino’s genre-bending comedic third novel is a breath of fresh air for its risk-taking." — Leland Cheuk, The Coil
Press and Reviews
Art Edwards, Entropy Magazine
Mindy-Lynn Sanico, Honolulu Star Advertiser
Paul Constant, The final frontier, The Seattle Review of Books
Paul Constant, Every teleportation is a little death: Talking with M. Thomas Gammarino about sci-fi, book design, and epistemology, The Seattle Review of Books
A hypothetical soundtrack for King of the Worlds: Largehearted Boy
Outtakes>“How Dylan Greenyears Landed an Extra Gig in 12 Monkeys“: American Short Fiction
Leland Cheuk, The Coil
Matt Mitrovich, Amazing Stories