Disobedience by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Disobedience by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Speculative Fiction / Dystopian Fiction
Publication Date: May 21, 2024
5.25 x 8 inches
220 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN 9781771668972

Trade Paperback
(In stock)
(In stock)
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Shael lives in a vast prison camp, a monstrosity developed after centuries of warfare and environmental catastrophe. As a young transfeminine person, they risk abject violence if their identity and love affair with Coe, an insurrectionary activist, are discovered. But desire and rebellion flare, and soon Shael escapes to Riverwish, a settlement attempting to forge a new way of living that counters the camp’s repression.

As the complexities of this place unfold before Shael, Disobedience asks: How can a community redress harm without reproducing unaccountable forms of violence? How do we heal? What might a compassionate, sustainable model of justice look like?

This is a remarkable work of queer and trans speculative fiction that imagines how alternative forms of connection and power can refuse the violent institutions that engulf us.

Praise for Disobedience

“In the tradition of great, socially conscious sci-fi authors such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Daniel Sarah Karasik’s debut novel is a daring, emotionally arresting dive into the heart of many questions that haunt society today—how can we build communities around healing and repair rather than retribution? How can we embody radical transformation as well as radical care? What wisdom awaits us in the body erotic? Disobedience is a striking addition to queer and trans futurism, to speculative fiction, and to the revolutionary imagination.” —Kai Cheng Thom, author of Falling Back in Love with Being Human

“Breathtaking in scope and thrillingly thoughtful, Disobedience lit up so many parts of my brain at once. In their dystopia that is a terrifyingly logical extension of our present moment, Daniel Sarah Karasik illuminates so much about our broken society, and the precious commodity of trust. A dire warning that is also dramatic, sexy, and bleakly hopeful, this story will stay with me for a very long time.” —Jessica Westhead, author of Avalanche

“Daniel Sarah Karasik’s meticulously observed, blazingly felt novel, Disobedience, renders abolitionist and communist futures touchable. Oriented by a sensitivity to pleasure, to the dignity of desire, to the erotics of collective risk, Karasik reminds us ‘there have always been alternatives.’ They narrate the entanglements between liberation and armed struggle, between militancy and care, with deep clarity and nuance. The heart of the revolutionary enterprise, Karasik writes, might just be ‘a steadfast conviction that while a person is still living, it’s never too late for transformation.’ This book invites us, full of contradictions and failures as we are, into that transformation, and, in so doing, fosters a disciplined, courageous optimism—that one might press on without innocence, without certainty, in the work of togetherness. ‘Joyful despite.’” —Jody Chan, author of impact statement

Disobedience begins as a riveting story of sexy, trans-feminine, kinky rebellion. By its end, Daniel Sarah Karasik offers us a nuanced exploration of the challenges of interpersonal harm, accountability, and transformative justice in a revolutionary community in struggle. This book is both an entertaining speculative fiction and an aid in thinking through the desires and dynamics of radical movements.” —M. E. O’Brien, co-author of Everything for Everyone: An Oral History of the New York Commune, 2052–2072

Press Coverage

Most Anticipated: Our 2024 Spring Fiction Preview —49th Shelf

Off/Kilter: 2024 Spring Preview —All Lit Up

Pride Reads 2024 —All Lit Up

Daniel Sarah Karasik Discusses Their Exciting New Work of Queer and Trans Speculative Fiction —Open Book

About the Author

DANIEL SARAH KARASIK (they/them) is the author of many books, including two poetry collections, Plenitude and Hungry, and the short story collection Faithful and Other Stories. Their work has been recognized with the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award, the CBC Short Story Prize, and the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Award. They organize with the network Artists for Climate & Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty (ACMJIS), among other groups, and are the founding managing editor of Midnight Sun, a magazine of socialist strategy, analysis, and culture. They live in Toronto.