TRUMP SKY ALPHA
TRUMP SKY ALPHA
"[Mark Doten] launches Trump Sky Alpha at the bull's eye of reality with such velocity that it bursts through the other side. This is speculative fiction as burning ring of fire. . . . Perversely satisfying, this tour de force of vicious satire is cathartic. . . . Dizzy with metaphor, Trump Sky Alpha is a cautionary tale for a time when we have become inured to flashing yellow all around." —Melissa Holbrook Pierson, The Washington Post
“Trump Sky Alpha is a funny book and a sad one, a bright one and a dark one, a distant sci-fi dystopia and a ripped-from-the-headlines tragedy. . . . The book acts both as a novel and as a searching, tortured position paper on the use of media, message and, especially, satire in our time.”—Ben Greenman, The New York Times Book Review
“Ever read a crazy book standing up, yelping in horror, transfixed by the way it's both insane and all too real? Mark Doten’s new novel, Trump Sky Alpha, might give you this feeling, imagining as it does one logical but dark conclusion to the current administration... [Doten] is one of our keenest and most inventive prose writers working today.”
—Nathan Deuel, The Los Angeles Times
A novel about Donald Trump,
internet humor at the end of the world.
Published by Graywolf Press.
Listed as a most anticipated title of 2019 by The Millions, Lit Hub, NYLON, HuffPost, and Big Other
“Doten [is] a virtuosic satirist. . . . This is bracingly good satire, so attentive to the subtleties of its object of caricature that it feels almost documentary.... This is a Trump whose despotic mannerisms are just slightly bloated from reality, but the prose maximizes and luxuriates in his repulsiveness. Doten assembles a perverse thing of beauty from the cruel theater of the presidency… a text that’s as much a narrative as it is a work of speculative media theory, one invested in a rigorous critique of both the Internet’s contents—the text and images it circulates, the online communities it enables—and its physical form. In particular, the novel uncovers how the Internet has enabled US colonial power to reproduce itself.” —Lisa Borst, The Nation
“Welcome Trump Sky Alpha. It is the Trump novel I’ve been waiting for... the novel Coover and Pynchon and DeLillo (yes, “and,” all of them together) would have written last century; a “systems novel” that places Trump in global and historical systems of economics and technology and yet has the plotting and verisimilitude of more narrow realistic novels about Trump by Rushdie, Lethem, Shteyngart, and Lipsyte; a novel that dares to be simultaneously OCD topical and rigorously inventive and left-field profound and wholly accessible; a novel as dense and allusive and self-consciously literary as the sentence you are now finishing.
. . . . Trump Sky Alpha will be a much-appreciated and long-remembered introduction to a young novelist worthy of comparison to those twentieth-century old masters of American politics and literary forms.”
—Tom LeClair, Open Letters Review
“[Doten] channels the brusqueness of the president's Twitter feed into a vivid literary depiction. And this is indeed a novel where Twitter personas don't just matter: They are, in fact, at the heart of this heady work's thematic concerns. . . . Fundamentally, this is a long and thrilling meditation on information and disinformation, on personas and the elusiveness of truth.”—Tobias Carroll, The Star Tribune
“Mark Doten is a deranged seer, a mad scribe mapping the end of the world. Trump Sky Alpha begins as an elaborate farce and ends as something much more grim and compelling, covering issues of politics, resistance, identity, and what . . . the internet actually means to our society.”—Jacob Silverman, Longreads
“A blistering and heartbreaking satire. . . . By turns a dystopian nightmare, a cyber thriller, a spot-on treatise on memes, and a tragic tale of love and loss. . . . Featuring a not-so-distant future, Doten’s novel is haunting, incisive, and surprisingly touching.”
“Trump Sky Alpha is the first and last Trump novel I’ll ever want to read.”
“Trump Sky Alpha delivers fiction as original as it is provocative, and as plausible and illustrative of what is happening around us as any breaking news report. Read this book and then duck and cover.”
“Doten's cracked archaeology of the nearly-now is so brilliant it will make you joyful despite yourself, despite the world's self.”
“What Doten uncovers with [Trump Sky Alpha] is the always pulsating anxieties that fuel our current existence, both online and off, and the ways in which we use irreverence and cynicism as armor against what we know is largely an uncaring world.”
“To enshrine in such beauty and intelligence a country that so despises beauty and intelligence is an act of rogue hope and antic compassion. In Trump Sky Alpha, Mark Doten emerges as the shadow president of our benighted generation of American literature.”
"With resplendent, even lurid detail, Trump Sky Alpha unpacks every contemporary source of American anxiety.... Mark Doten is a brave and audacious spelunker of the most putrid caves of internet-addled capitalism—he's a marvel and a freak of the highest order.”
“[An] unconventional and darkly satirical mix of memes, Twitter jokes, Q&As, and tightly written stream-of-consciousness passages. . . . Doten’s speculative tale is very strange and chilling, subversive and surreal, and disturbingly relevant.”
"Mark Doten brings a hilarious, subversive eye to the way we live, joke, and tweet at the edge of what could, for all we know, be an explosive end.”
“What an extraordinary novel—gutsy, astute, frightening, and fun; only history will show if it remains speculative or proves prescient. (Either way, may the gods save us!)”
“This macabre vision of a future America presents a frighteningly real scenario and brings into focus the pervasive yet inane power of politicians and the Internet.”
“It’s a commonplace that no one could satirize Trump. But Mark Doten has done it in this scathing, hectic portrayal of the end of the world.”
Excerpts in Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, N+1, and Guernica.