With this stellar debut volume–a “mosaic novel” depicting a world of infinite biomorphic perversity that feels at once surreal yet authentic; estranging yet welcoming; otherwordly yet familiar–Dempow Torishima gives the world a book of fantastika with very few literary precedents.
…Frankly, this is in line with my own experiments with stories like “This World Is Full of Monsters.” This hits a real sweet-spot for me. I also think that for academics and writers who study things like eco-fiction and the biological in fiction, SISYPHEAN will interest.
Translated from Japanese by Daniel Huddleston, Dempow Torishima’s Sisyphean consists of a series of four novellas set in a grotesque but familiar universe. It’s a challenging, dense, and provocative read, and quite possibly a work of mad genius.
Sisyphean is translated by Daniel Huddleston.
3.9 rating based on 274 ratings (all editions)
Even after the world and humanity itself have been rendered nearly unrecognizable by genetic engineering, a day in the office can feel… Sisyphean.
The company stands atop a tiny deck supported by huge iron columns a hundred meters high. The boss there is its president—a large creature of unstable, shifting form once called “human.” The world of his dedicated worker contains only the deck and the sea of mud surrounding it, and and the worker’s daily routine is anything but peaceful. A mosaic novel of extreme science and high weirdness, Sisyphean will change the way you see existence itself.
A strange journey into the far future of genetic engineering, and working life. After centuries of tinkering, many human bodies only have a casual similarity to what we now know, but both work and school continue apace. Will the enigmatic sad sack known only as “the worker” survive the day? Will the young student Hanishibe get his questions about the biological future of humanity answered, or will he have to transfer to the department of theology? Will Umari and her master ever comprehend the secrets of nanodust?