Two years ago, on the same day but miles apart, Finn Darby lost two of the most important people in his life: his wife Lorena, struck by lightning on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, and his abusive, alcoholic grandfather, Tom Darby, creator of the long-running newspaper comic strip Toy Shop. Against his grandfather’s dying wish, Finn has resurrected Toy Shop, adding new characters, and the strip is more popular than ever, bringing in fan letters, merchandising deals, and talk of TV specials. Finn has even started dating again.
When a terrorist attack decimates Atlanta, killing half a million souls, Finn begins blurting things in a strange voice beyond his control. The voice says things only his grandfather could know. Countless other residents of Atlanta are suffering a similar bizarre affliction. Is it mass hysteria, or have the dead returned to possess the living? Finn soon realizes he has a hitcher within his skin… his grandfather. And Grandpa isn't terribly happy about the changes Finn has been making to Toy Shop. Together with a pair of possessed friends, an aging rock star, and a waitress, Finn races against time to find a way to send the dead back to Deadland… or die trying!
“Hitchers is a great read — and one that really shows off Will McIntosh's range as a writer.”
—Stefan Raets, Tor.com
“Hugo-winner McIntosh delivers a moving tale of individual grief and recovery against the backdrop of a devastated world.”
—Publisher’s Weekly (Starred review)
“You will never read a novel quite like Hitchers—it is a singularly unique work of genius.”
—Paul Goat Allen, freelance book reviewer for The Chicago Tribune, PW, Kirkus Reviews, and BarnesandNoble.com.
What happens when resources become scarce and society starts to crumble? As the competition for resources pulls America’s previously stable society apart, the “New Normal” is a Soft Apocalypse. This is how our world ends; with a whimper instead of a bang. New social structures and tribal connections spring up across America, as the previous social structures begin to dissolve.
Locus Award finalist and John W. Campbell Memorial Award finalist Soft Apocalypse follows the journey across the Southeast of a tribe of formerly middle class Americans as they struggle to find a place for themselves and their children in a new, dangerous world that still carries the ghostly echoes of their previous lives.