From the bestselling author of Ohio, a masterful American epic novel charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.
In the first decades of the 21st century, the world is convulsing, its governments mired in gridlock while a patient but unrelenting ecological crisis looms. America is in upheaval, battered by violent weather and extreme politics. In California in 2013, Tony Pietrus, a scientist studying deposits of undersea methane, receives a death threat. His fate will become bound to a stunning cast of characters – a broken drug addict, a star advertising strategist, a neurodivergent mathematician, a cunning eco-terrorist, an actor turned religious zealot, and a brazen young activist named Kate Morris, who, in the mountains of Wyoming, begins a project that will alter the course of the decades to come.
From the Gulf Coast to Los Angeles, the Midwest to Washington, DC, their intertwined odysseys unfold against a stark backdrop of accelerating chaos as they summon courage, galvanize a nation, fall to their own fear, and find wild hope in the face of staggering odds. As their stories hurtle toward a spectacular climax, each faces a reckoning: what will they sacrifice to salvage humanity's last chance at a future? A singular achievement, The Deluge is a once-in-a-generation novel that meets the moment as few works of art ever have.
Stephen Markley is the acclaimed author of Ohio, which NPR called a "masterpiece". A graduate of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, Markley's other books include the memoir Publish This Book and the travelogue Tales of Iceland.
"The best novel I read in 2022 was The Deluge, by Stephen Markley [...] This is what the world is going to look like in the next 10 years, if changes aren't made. More terrifying than The Stand. Because it's real."
– Stephen King, on Twitter
"Immersive and ambitious, [The Deluge] shows the range of its author's gifts: polyphonic narration, silken sentences and elaborate world-building."
– New York Times Book Review
"An astonishing feat of procedural imagination, narrative construction and scientific acumen."
– Los Angeles Times
"A clear-eyed, climate-justice-minded page-turner [...] Stephen Markley's new novel is part thriller, part horror, part all-too-real. It's scary, instructive and also entertaining."
– Washington Post
"This book is destined to be a classic and needs to be read by anyone who can get their hands on it [...] The Deluge is ultimately a feel-good work that will leave readers reeling from the amount of information that has been dissected and shared."
– Book Reporter
"Markley's dark depiction of the near future is filled with vivid descriptions of climate catastrophes, but his intricate network of complex characters balances precision with pathos, offering a kaleidoscopic view of humanity's fraught relationship with its changing planet."
– Scientific American
"This is a stunning achievement that may earn a place among dystopian and apocalyptic classics like 1984 and On the Beach. And perhaps most of all, it's an unflinching and utterly compelling call to action to prevent an all-too-possible future."
– Library Journal (starred review)
"In this brilliant dystopian epic [...] [Markley's] nuanced characterizations of individuals with different approaches to the existential threat make the perils they encounter feel real as they navigate cover-ups and lies. It's a disturbing tour de force."
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"An ambitious rendering of a forbidding future and the public and private challenges that will define it."
"[A]mbitious, sprawling [...] a demanding but worthwhile read."
"What makes you not want to put it down, is you care about the people in the book"
– Seth Meyers
"A ferocious, spectacular achievement. A masterful beast of intellect and heart. [...] Markley should take his place as a visionary of our time."
– Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back
"A major achievement, bountifully imagined. Unquestionably one of the best novels to grapple with the climate crisis. I am haunted by it."
– Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
"A stunning and comprehensive view of a future that is both impressively imagined and terrifyingly imminent.
– Fatima Farheen Mirza, author of A Place For Us
"Engrossing and timely. A towering achievement in style and substance that is at once timeless and impossibly urgent."
– Ben Philippe, author of Charming as a Verb
"The Deluge is not just an impressively well-thought-out and all-too-realistic catalog of the ways in which the climate crisis might mutate into something much worse; it's also a page-turner packed with no shortage of thrills or heart."
– Sean Adams, author of The Heap
"A masterclass of climate fiction. This barnstormer of a book is a must-read."
– Nana Nkweti, author of Walking on Cowrie Shells
"A seminal novel and a singular achievement. The Deluge is sure to take a place alongside such great environmental books as The Overstory, The Shell Collector, Barkskins, Flight Behavior and so many others."
– Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi
"An epic work of great ambition, Stephen Markley's The Deluge is unyielding; it marvels and it mortifies. Few books in a lifetime will make you feel as this one must and while full of every kind of blooming horror, Markley's magnum opus is as engulfing as it is earnest."
– Jeremy Garber, Powells, Portland Orego
n"A terrifyingly imagined future, made all the more believable by the real characters in the not so distant past and present. An important book."
– Bobbi Irving, Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, Pennsylvania
"One of those rare novels that manages to be deeply informative and a page-turner at the same time, The Deluge takes us on an intrigue-laden journey into a possible future that is truthful with regard to both the urgency and agency that exists today in addressing the climate crisis."
– Michael Mann, Presidential Distinguished Professor, University of Pennsylvania and author of The New Climate War