LoveStar: A Novel (Paperback)
2013 Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation of Excellence
"Orwell, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams are felt on every page, though Magnason is never derivative. His satire and insightful social commentary sweeten the pot and the sheer wackiness of Magnason’s oversized imagination is invigorating."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
LoveStar, the enigmatic and obsessively driven founder of the LoveStar corporation, has unlocked the key to transmitting data via birdwaves, thus freeing mankind from wires and devices, and allowing consumerism, technology, and science to run rampant over all aspects of daily life. Cordless modern men and women are paid to howl advertisements at unsuspecting passers-by, REGRET machines eliminate doubt over roads not taken, soul mates are identified and brought together (while existing, unscientifically validated relationships are driven remorselessly asunder), and rocketing the dead into the sky becomes both a status symbol and a beautiful, cathartic show for those left behind.
Indridi and Sigrid, two blissfully happy young lovers, have their perfect worlds threatened (along with Indridi’s sanity) when they are “calculated apart” and are forced to go to extreme lengths to prove their love. Their journey ultimately puts them on a collision course with LoveStar, who is on his own mission to find what might become the last idea in the world.
Steeped in influences ranging from Italo Calvino, Jorge Luis Borges, and Kurt Vonnegut to George Orwell, Douglas Adams, and Monty Python, Andri Snær Magnason has created a surreal yet uncomfortably familiar world, where the honey embrace of love does its utmost to survive amid relentless and overpowering controls.
About the Author
One of Iceland’s most celebrated young writers, ANDRI SNÆR MAGNASON is the author poetry, plays, fiction, and non-fiction, and in 2009 he co-directed the documentary Dreamland, which was based on his own book Dreamland: A Self-Help Manual for a Frightened Nation. In 2002 Magnason’s LoveStar was named "Novel of the Year" by Icelandic booksellers and received the DV Literary Award and a nomination for the Icelandic Literary Prize. It was also shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award. His 2012 The Story of the Blue Planet—now published or performed in twenty-six countries—became the first children's book to receive the Icelandic Literary Prize and received the Janusz Korczak Honorary Award and the West Nordic Children's Book Prize. Magnason is the winner of the 2010 Kairos Award. He lives in Reykjavík.
“Orwell, Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams are felt on every page, though Magnason is never derivative. His satire and insightful social commentary sweeten the pot and the sheer wackiness of Magnason’s oversized imagination is invigorating.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"“While nature and the culture of Iceland enrich LoveStar, its concerns and targets are universal, its beleaguered, hapless citizen-pawns recognizable as our future selves. The imaginative power of novels like LoveStar may serve as a wake-up call, if only we read and heed them.”
—World Literature Today
"Strange and refreshing—a lushly imagined future that reminded me of Vonnegut and Brautigan."
—Ed Park, author of Personal Days
“Exuberantly odd, LoveStar [...] has a certain charm.”
— The Complete Review
“If you like Kurt Vonnegut’s writing style you will like this book, which is presented in a satirical way but with a serious message underneath.”
—I'd Rather Be in Iceland
“Equal parts Vonnegut and Calvino, but never truly derivative of either influence, Magnason’s novel takes a sometimes scathing, sometimes humorous look at what happens when we willing give up our freedoms in exchange for the promise of a better tomorrow that never arrives.”
“It is no small accomplishment that in the ten years since LoveStar was released, the book feels not obsolete, but rather prescient, or at least exasperatingly plausible...it’s compulsively readable, due in great part to Andri Snær’s kooky creativity and the novel’s simple, straightforward style of prose.”
"Morality tale? Cautionary tale? Bizarro fiction? LoveStar is specific on speed, a philosopher's nightmare, and the most engaging thing I've read in a long time.”