The Amateurs

Category: Book
By (author): Harmer, Liz
Subject:  FICTION / Canadian
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
  FICTION / Urban
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: March 2017
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in
Availability:
Unavailable

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In the style of Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, and The Walking DeadThe Amateurs is a post-apocalyptic examination of nostalgia, loss and the possibility of starting over.


PINA, the largest tech company in the world, introduces a product called port. These ports offer space-time travel powered by nostalgia and desire. Want to go back to when your relationship was blossoming? To when your kids were small, or when your parents met? To Elizabethan England? To 1990s Seattle? Easy. Step inside the port with a destination in mind, and you will be transported. But there is a catch: it's possible that you cannot come back. And the ports are incredibly seductive, drawing in those with weaker wills...
     Nearly everyone buys the ports, and soon, nearly everyone is gone. Those who are left attempt to sort out how to survive in this world nearly devoid of humans. Animals are increasing in numbers, roads are degrading, the Internet is down, and gasoline is running out. The survivors are also left with numerous unguarded ports, which are as mysterious as they are threatening.
     In this world we follow a motley crew camped out in the abandoned mansions and stately church of a former steel-town that has seen its own share of collapse and growth. The group of about thirty adults and children are looting and surviving on what food they can find. But the harsh winter is fast approaching--do they make the choice to head south as a group, or wait to see if their loved ones will return through the ports?
     The Amateurs focuses on a thirty-something artist and shopkeeper, Marie. She has never gotten over her ex-husband, Jason, and stubbornly hopes he'll return to her from his new marriage and from the world beyond the port. Meanwhile, in California, life at PINA is breaking down. Brandon, the former head of PR and right-hand man to Albrecht Doors, the mad genius who invented the ports, decides to get out while he still can. He steals a solar-powered car and drives north-east, where he hopes to find his missing mother, and start a new life, maybe a family. And there he meets Marie.
     The Amateurs is a story of rapture and romance. It's an astoundingly powerful debut about the end of technological optimism and the beginning of real optimism.
Biographical NoteLIZ HARMER is working on a second novel, and a story collection, which was a finalist for the 2014 Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have been published in The Malahat Review, PRISM, Grain, The New Quarterly, Little Brother and other journals. She won a National Magazine Award in Personal Journalism and was nominated for another NMA, both in 2014. She was longlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize and a finalist for a Glimmer Train Prize, and was on the editorial board at echolocation between 2013 and 2015. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto, where her mentor was Charles Foran. She has also studied with David Bezmozgis, Richard Greene, Robert McGill and Richard Bausch. Raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she now lives with her husband and their three young daughters in southern California. The author lives in Riverside, California.