No Gods, No Monsters
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About the Author
Cadwell Turnbull is the author of The Lesson and No Gods, No Monsters. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Asimov's Science Fiction, and several anthologies, including The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018 and The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019. The Lesson was the winner of the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Award in the debut category and No Gods, No Monsters won the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBTQ Speculative Fiction. Turnbull lives in Lafayette, IN.
It's such an expertly crafted novel that I'm almost mad about it; it's smart and intense in the best way. Turnbull pulls no punches here, and the result is something powerful.-- "Christina Orlando, Tor.com"
Turnbull is a rising star in the science fiction and fantasy world.-- "The Verge"
Like Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin before him, Turnbull uses the tools of science fiction to illuminate the human heart.-- "John Kessel, Nebula Award-winning author, on The Lesson"
You'll stay up all night bingeing this cosmic political thriller about monster factions battling over the past and future of the multiverse. Cadwell Turnbull has created a fascinating world of supernatural conspirators whose goals are sometimes unknowable, and sometimes align perfectly with the mundane, systemic injustices of human life. No Gods, No Monsters is also a moving journey through many families across many worlds--all coping with traumatic loss, but finding new ways to love each other.-- "Annalee Newitz, author of The Future of Another Timeline and Autonomous"
No Gods, No Monsters is a haunting tale of the monsters that live among us, and those who despise them. Through a series of diverse, rich, and beautifully written voices, Turnbull deftly weaves together a story of supernatural beings, otherworldly entities, magic, and quantum physics, superimposed onto the social and political challenges of our mundane world. Throughout, we are forced to dwell not only our own humanity, but question who exactly are the monsters we fear? Once I started this novel I could not put it down. You won't be able to either.-- "P. Djèlí Clark, author of Ring Shout"
No Gods, No Monsters is both elegant and violent: a cutting, clarifying illumination of humanity in all of its magic and monstrosity. It balances narrative complexity with extraordinarily nuanced characters, and remains compulsively readable throughout. This is a story with blood, brains, and, ultimately, heart.-- "Isabel Yap, author of Never Have I Ever: Stories"
Magic and monsters roam every corner of this page-turner, but the real star is Cadwell Turnbull's breathtaking prose. A perfect hymn to otherness and the beauty of the strange, No Gods, No Monsters is so good it reads like music. Simply masterful.-- "Sylvain Neuvel, author of the Themis Files, The Test, and A History of What Comes Next"
Turnbull's prose is captivating, poetic without being pretentious, a pleasure to read...His story has a painful ring of truth to it, despite the fantastic creatures that populate it, and a beautifully layered complexity that makes it difficult to set down. A stunning, enthralling novel.-- "New York Journal of Books"
Profound and unsettling in the best way...Sharp, insightful social commentary wrapped up in a tale of the uncanny.-- "Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award-winning author"
The Lesson was a perfect debut, and this is a perfect second novel. Big and bold and ambitious, packed with everything we need right now: more heart, more monsters, more cooperative solidarity economies.-- "Sam J. Miller, Nebula Award-winning author of Blackfish City and The Blade Between"
No Gods, No Monsters is an enthralling and audacious novel that takes you on a dizzying ride deep inside a hidden world existing just beneath the surface of our everyday reality. You might think you know what kind of monster story this is when you start reading. You might even think you understand what kind of world the story takes place in, but Turnbull has other plans. Page by page, chapter by chapter, the walls, the ceiling, the floor of the reality you thought you found yourself in as a reader, are removed, until you're falling into the starlit depths of an entirely different, fearsome, and awe-inspiring universe.-- "Maria Haskins, writer and reviewer"
No Gods, No Monsters is a thrilling story, set in a world not unlike our own, that follows events in the wake of the discovery that creatures from myth and legend are real. It's a page turner...an exciting plot, full characters, complex moral dilemmas, mystery, mayhem, with a bit of romance. This science fiction/fantasy story grabs your attention from the beginning. I love the way Turnbull changes the narrative of hate and division that has been written about so many times and makes us ponder the question, Who are the real monsters?-- "Keri Cooks, Forbes"
Across a web of storylines, we follow a series of characters ranging from a college professor looking for a missing friend--only to discover a secret society--a werewolf who's trying to protect her pack from the public, and more. The book makes for excellent commentary on the state of society, as Cadwell Turnbull follows the implications as those supernatural creatures and beings make their existence known to the rest of the world.-- "Andrew Liptak, Polygon"
Turnbull's second novel, No Gods, No Monsters, the first in a planned trilogy, expands on the complexities of liberation movements as competing factions of magical beings decide the course of the 'monster' social justice cause...Indispensable work...No Gods, No Monsters makes room for this more steady-eyed, honest sort of hope.-- "Fiction Unbound"
This harrowing and lyrical novel combines elements of urban fantasy with biting social commentary.-- "Buzzfeed"
Structurally ambitious, intricately imagined.-- "Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award-winning author"
An intricate sequence of moving, intimate character portraits...The depth and care with which Turnbull inhabits each character is riveting; despite an expansive cast spread over wide terrain, I never felt lost or confused. His attention to location detail is considered and clear: The story shifts from Massachusetts to St. Thomas to Virginia with confident ease, carried by beautiful, conversational prose that's startlingly punctuated by reminders of who's narrating the stories--and how...I can appreciate how thorough a grounding Turnbull has given this sprawling first act...Let yourselves sink into this tender, ferocious book like hands into piano keys, or teeth into flesh.-- "New York Times"
Beautifully fantastical.-- "NPR"
No Gods, No Monsters is a staggering achievement of literary craftsmanship, a complex juggling act of plot, tension, character interiority, worldbuilding, thought experiment, using trust from the reader as the fuel that pushes the book forward, page by page. It is a piece of narrative alchemy, and I'm in awe, knowing just how much work must've gone into this book to make it the piece of art it is. I said it at the top and I'll say it again: Cadwell Turnbull's new novel is absolutely worth your time. Go and grab a copy now, and then join me in the waiting line for whatever he's got coming next, because I know that will be worth it, too.-- "Tor.com"
Turnbull's sophomore work puts him at the top of the field of fantasy literary fiction.-- "Library Journal (starred review)"
Powerhouse contemporary fantasy...an unforgettable experience.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Beautifully and compellingly told.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
An epic, meta, Caribbean-inspired fantasy.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
A distinctive urban fantasy novel, Cadwell Turnbull's No Gods, No Monsters is an operatic story involving monsters, magic, and myth...Its precise language and masterful storytelling make each character's story compelling and immediate. Difficult magical concepts are also made accessible and engaging through logical explanations that sometimes become scientific. No Gods, No Monsters is a horror and fantasy novel with a sociological bent, in which many secrets wait to be unearthed.-- "Foreword Reviews"
Apart from its huge and diverse cast of fascinating characters, its passionate consideration of alienation, otherness, and solidarity, and its cheerful disregard of genre borders, No Gods, No Monsters leaves us with only tantalizing notions of where later volumes may lead. That by itself is pretty refreshing: no gods, no formulas.-- "Locus"
What makes this book special, what makes it work so damn well, is the way the story is anchored in human complexities...This book is really, really good...Page by page, scene by scene, Turnbull presents an author's observations of the real world within the framework of fantasy/horror, executed with subtle, brilliant artistry...No Gods, No Monsters is the first in a series which you do not want to miss.-- "Lightspeed"
Masterful...Begins with a Black man shot by police, then remarkably remains a human story about identity, even as the killing unleashes something new.-- "Chicago Tribune"
No Gods, No Monsters critically examines what would happen if monsters were introduced to American culture, and it does an amazing job.-- "New Orleans Review"
Dion Graham is the perfect narrator for this story, giving all of the characters unique voices while expressing awe and terror in just the right moments...This book is perfect for not only aficionados of fantasy and horror, but also for fans of speculative fiction with a social message.-- "Library Journal (starred audio review)"
Turnbull's complex story takes readers across the surface of the earth and into the many dimensions of the mind as his characters carom through a multitude of societies...Even for people not typically drawn to sci-fi or fantasy novels, settling in with this story is well worth it.-- "O. Henry magazine"