- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: Meerkat Press, LLC (August 28, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1946154113
- ISBN-13: 978-1946154118
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,886,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Missing Signal Paperback – August 28, 2018
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"Beneath the entertaining wrapper of science fiction, Missing Signal is a masterfully written work, both provocative and rewarding."(Susan Waggoner Foreword Reviews)
“Crisp chapters cartwheel you in an incredible odyssey that gets wilder and weirder as it possesses you . . . Something about the novel abolishes distraction. Once you open the book, you are committed. No hard work, just a heart-thud moment, electricity, and you’re hooked. In its tiny chapters pulsing with voltage, the narrative leaves nothing short. The reading is like a golden egg hunt, literary gifts tucked away in findable nests.”(Eugen Bacon Breach Magazine)
"Seb Doubinsky's always been a critique of modern politics and the tyrannical fallacies of consumerism. Missing Signal is another addition to that nuanced, but powerful legacy as it's a novel about being told what to do and who to believe, which doesn't lead to any satisfying answers if you don't proactively choose your own path through a maze of make believes and misinformation."(Benoit Lelievre Dead End Follies)
(5 stars) “I’m delighted to have discovered an exciting new voice in Seb Doubinsky’s unusual novella. This is not a traditional sci-fi story but is one which offers a disturbing glimpse into a dystopian city-state future which reflects, albeit in an exaggerated way, so much of all that is disturbing in our 21st century world.”(Linda Hepworth Nudge-Book Magazine)
“The tense, sparse prose of this novella―which explicitly names its inspirations in the aesthetics of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 'beautiful emptiness,' William S. Burroughs’s theories, and the porn and B-movies of the 1960s and ’70s, as well as the tropes of alien encounters in early SF―matches its strong themes of loneliness, paranoia, and the search for identity in a world of deception.”(Publishers Weekly)
“UFO conspiracies and the devil's drug Synth. Deep states ruling the surface world and tripled crossed info proxy wars. And the divisions. All those beautiful divisions, that each new day look more and more like the fencing of livestock pens. In Missing Signal, master social commentator Seb Doubinsky pulls us further into his near-future/probably-now European continent carved up not by current borders and bloody treaties, but by the social, political, and racial scalpel cuts of the City States, blending science fiction with current fact in his always intense, sometimes horrifying, and often quite tragic exploration of a doomed race dancing toward midnight, smiles fixed and glasses raised. Dystopia has arrived with a whimper, and no one scheduled the parade. Maybe after the next commercial break."(T.E. Grau, author of I Am the River and The Nameless Dark)
"Seb Doubinsky’s Missing Signal is the latest installment in the City-State cycle and it is dystopian fiction at its most fragmented, wondrous and irrevocably humane. Doubisnky’s prose is lean, mean and often hilarious in the melancholy way of a Godard hero unable to escape his past no matter how fast he hurtles toward a Burroughsian future. Immersive and unputdownable noir sf from a writer at the top of his game."(J.S. Breukelaar, author of American Monster and Aletheia)
“A tiny, jeweled puzzle-box of a book, strangely but entertainingly crossing Kafka with Philip K. Dick to make something quite new.”(Tad Williams, author of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, and the Otherland series)
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"Missing Signal" is the story of a spy in a 1984ish not too distant future. There may be aliens among us and we need spies to catch them. Paranoia runs deep and the structure helps it build.
A year ago I gave "Song of Synth" 3 stars because I thought the end was squishy. This book is tighter (as it must be with the forced structure) and more coherent, to the extent that paranoia can be coherent. Nevertheless, I think the reviews in Amazon's "Editorial Reviews" are exaggerated. This book is a solid 3.5 stars. You will like it but you won't send copies to your friends.
I received a review copy of "Missing Signal" by Seb Doubinsky (Meercat) through LibraryThing.com.
Missing Signal is a story about Terrence Kovacs, who works as a disinformation agent, and how he deals with life in a bubble, covered with truth and fiction. He’s been at the game so long he questions everything; paranoia is part of the norm for the simplest and mundane of daily tasks. For the big jobs, it’s a given. Then he meets Vita who makes him question everything, either out of love or his own desire to simply know the facts. But can he trust the facts as he sees them?
The story is heavy on conspiracy theory. Doubinsky does an amazing job of keeping the reader just as “questioning” as our protagonist is. There are many short chapters within the book, some as short as a sentence, or two; a paragraph here and there, or two; etc. But this worked wonderfully for me. I have no idea if this was intentional or not but the short chapters gave me a real feel of dipping into a secret world, bits at a time, deeper and deeper, into a growing conspiracy. Slowly learning more and more, bit by bit. Have you ever had a late-night YouTube spiral? The kind where you start out watching a tutorial on fixing an air conditioner (or some other task that needs to be done around the home) and before you realise it it’s two hours later and you have somehow moved to footage of Bigfoot, to supposed ghosts ‘caught on tape” to home-video of UFOs hovering in the sky. Well this is that type of feeling those short chapters gave me, which made for a captivating and real page-turner of a book. The ending (which I won’t spoil) also aided the theme of conspiracy well, ending in a way for the readers to ask questions (the sure-sign of every great reading experience) and possibly question themselves—the joys of falling so far down the rabbit-hole. Between this, a superbly realised world, and believable characters, I was hooked.
5 out of 5 stars, easily.
I admire Doubinsky’s ability to build a meaningful denouement; layered with a wistfulness for the 1960s, Doubinsky transfers the subconscious into a reality that unravels perception, but only because the impossible seems to be happening. When powerful drugs do become involved, the narrative wraps the reader in the paranoia with a rather unexpected twist. Here is where a spoiler would ruin everything. And yes, this book discusses the existence of aliens and the very concept’s impact on the paranoid, deconstructed mind of a man who works for the government and deals in secrets. And I absolutely loved the way this book concluded; the last sentence is very memorable.
Doubinsky takes you through a fast paced Sci-Fi mystery of an alien conspiracy, Planet X, and a drug that alters vision, mind and body but misses the signal that has all the answers... or what is the answer?