ISBN: 9780980941012
eISBN: 9781926851730

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Four inhabitants of a crumbling world:

  • a drug-addled boy, living in dank recesses, sets out in an ancient car to find his ex, who has mysteriously vanished overnight;
  • a privileged girl, obsessed with the past, and exiled by her esteemed father, learns more about her long-vanished ancestors than she ever could have wished for;
  • an old man, on his hundredth birthday, deserts his quiet post as an elevator operator, climbing the great shaft in hopes of seeing the fabled topmost level before he dies;
  • and a fisherman, seeking answers to why his once-vibrant wife is now chronically ailing and wasting away, begins a quest to find and confront the god of all gods.

Reviews of Filaria:

Hayward's debut is a powerful, beautifully-written dystopian tale concerning four inhabitants of a gigantic but dying artificial habitat. . . . With well-developed characters and four strong plotlines told through alternating chapters, Hayward delivers a fulfilling read.
Filaria is a great read, crackling with invention, energy, and suspense.
. . . Filaria is simply one of the best books written in the last decade and is the best science fiction/fantasy book that I have read in a long time.
From its gorgeous cover to the typesetting, Filaria looks and feels like a book that should have been published by a major house—no small feat for the first outing of a start-up publisher. . . . Filaria is a startlingly original and unsettling vision of humanity's possible future, blending post-apocalyptic SF with the suspense and weirdness of Lovecraftian horror.
[Filaria] handles the basics of entertaining storytelling so well, balancing plot, character, setting, prose, and pacing, while encompassing core themes of both SF and horror. . . . The initial impression is of a Gene Wolfe novel, a Whorl-like generation starship or a tower on a dying Urth; or perhaps a VanderMeerian Venis . . . (Filaria is) horrific because there is no external threat, nothing supernatural. The spotlight is front and center on human nature: how tenuous the human species is, the things we do that compromise our own chances, and the self-destroying roles we force individuals to play in our fight for survival. And yet, this in turn leads directly to the optimistic side of Filaria: the idea that the science of our technology and the science of our biology may both work to carry us into the future.
A disquieting, claustrophobic, compelling hybrid of China Miéville and J. G. Ballard. I first read Filaria almost two years ago: its subterranean imagery has been stuck in my midbrain ever since.
Filaria is, in its conciseness and its oddly disturbing grace, one of the finest debuts written in the last decade—in the SFF genre or any other genre. For a fast reader, it could be consumed in nearly a breath, but this would be to miss the point entirely. This is a book meant to be examined, to be known.

What strikes me as so unique is how Hayward manages to build such a intensely resonant world in so few words. You will not forget having been in this book. Images, perhaps even whole scenes if you're visually minded, will stick with you for the remainder of your life.

—Zachary Jernigan, author of No Return
Filaria has adventure, sense of wonder, love, excitement and the characters' arcs are very well done and quite moving.
Filaria might be described as a Gothic Science Fiction. It's Titus Groan riding in an electric car. . . . If William Gibson or Bruce Sterling wrote a fairy tale it might be a little like this.

Other Reviews

goodreads 3.98/5 stars more...

Author Info

Brent Hayward Portrait

Brent Hayward was born in London, England, and grew up in Montreal. His short fiction has appeared in various publications. In 2006, his story “Phallex Comes out” was nominated for a Story South award for best on-line fiction of that year. In 2008, his first novel, Filaria, was published by CZP. Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review, calling Filaria “powerful” and “beautifully written.” His second novel, The Fecund’s Melancholy Daughter, also got a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was shortlisted for the 2012 CBC Bookie awards.