Three Grams of Elsewhere

three grams of elsewhere cover, a man walks through the prairie toward an ominous city in the distance with threatening drones in the sky

Harmony Cain

Infor­ma­tion Sheet and Book­list Review for Librarians

Fifty years ago, a new civ­il war frac­tured the Unit­ed States into a mosa­ic of polar­ized nations. Ever since, Har­mo­ny “Bibi” Cain has iso­lat­ed him­self: from soci­ety, from tech­nol­o­gy, from fam­i­ly. A pow­er­ful empath weary from the con­stant intru­sion of oth­ers’ emo­tions, he’s final­ly clois­tered in his rur­al Wis­con­sin retire­ment com­mu­ni­ty. He hopes to find, if not peace, then at least a lit­tle quiet.

But when four impos­si­ble-seem­ing killings shake North Amer­i­ca, Bibi is drawn into an inves­ti­ga­tion he wants noth­ing to do with. The vic­tims were killed by unstop­pable drones only an empath can control—and decades ago, Bibi was an unwit­ting sub­ject in the wartime pro­gram that cre­at­ed them: the pro­gram that weaponized empathy.

With his few remain­ing friends at risk, and ten­sions between coun­tries of the for­mer Unit­ed States reawak­en­ing, every­thing may depend on Bibi’s life­long strug­gle with his own extra­or­di­nary ability.

A near-future Mid­west­ern reflec­tion on hate’s ascent and empathy’s decline, with ele­ments of cyber­punk and mystery.

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Where this book came from…

For many years I’ve fret­ted about the growth of polit­i­cal and social polar­iza­tion in the Unit­ed States, and with how that’s inex­tri­ca­bly linked with a decline of empathy—our grow­ing ten­den­cy to see those who dis­agree with us as evil or stupid.

This book is what hap­pened when I fret­ted long enough.

Reviews

“[A] stun­ning­ly well-craft­ed sci­ence fic­tion novel…Giesler push­es read­ers to think deeply about how we con­nect to each other…”—The Book­Life Prize from Publisher’s Week­ly (10 out of 10)

“Giesler has cre­at­ed a world so full that it seems to echo beyond its pages—a sto­ry writ­ten so well that, no mat­ter how per­fect, sur­pris­ing, and com­plete the end­ing, read­ers will want to return in search of even more. It’s just that good.”— BlueInk Reviews (Starred Review)

“Provoca­tive, empa­thet­ic dystopi­an SF with a sense of nar­ra­tive play­ful­ness.” —Book­Life by Pub­lish­er’s Week­ly (Edi­tor’s Pick)

“Wow. Wow wow wow…this was a cap­ti­vat­ing, enter­tain­ing, and enlight­en­ing read.”—Judge, 31st Annu­al Writer’s Digest Self-Pub­lished Book Awards

“A brainy near-future SF nov­el of exploit­ed neu­rons and expand­ing con­scious­ness.” —Kirkus Reviews

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