Announcing The Sleepless by Victor Manibo

Tor.com is pleased to announce Erewhon Books’ acquisition of The Sleepless by Victor Manibo, a debut science fiction thriller in a near future NYC where a mysterious pandemic has caused a portion of the world’s population to lose the ability to sleep—without any apparent downsides. The Sleepless will be published in June of 2022.

In a near-future New York City where a minority of the population has lost the need for sleep, a journalist fights to uncover the truth behind his boss’s murder on the eve of a sinister corporate takeover—while his own Sleeplessness spirals out of control.

A mysterious pandemic causes a quarter of the world to permanently lose the ability to sleep—without any apparent health implications. The outbreak creates a new class of people who are both feared and ostracized, most of whom optimize their extra hours to earn more money.

Jamie Vega, a journalist at C+P Media, is one of the Sleepless. When his boss dies in a suicidal overdose, Jamie doesn’t buy this too-convenient explanation—especially given its suspicious timing during a controversial merger—and investigates. But everything goes awry when Jamie discovers that he was the last person who saw Simon alive, and realizes that he has no memory of that night. Not only do the police suspect him, Jamie can’t account for the lost time, and the memory loss may have to do with how he became Sleepless: not naturally, but by biohacking his body through a risky and illegal process.

As Jamie delves deeper into Simon’s final days, he tangles with extremist organizations and powerful corporate interests, and must confront past traumas and the unforeseen consequences of biohacking himself. But he soon faces the most dangerous decision of all, as he uncovers a terrifying truth about Sleeplessness that imperils him—and all of humanity.

Author Victor Manibo shared his excitement:

“I first conceived The Sleepless during a particularly busy time in my life, so one could say that the book is a sort of wish fulfillment. I wondered what it would be like to have more functioning hours in a day, and that daydream expanded into a story about the forces that drive people to need those hours, what we’re willing to sacrifice to be more “productive”, and what late-stage capitalism would look like if humans didn’t need sleep—at all. Amid all that is also a mystery about trauma and loss, one that comes from my love of amateur detective stories and locked-room mysteries. I’m so thrilled to be working with the rockstar team at Erewhon, especially my editor Sarah Guan, who knows exactly how to elevate this twisty SF noir story to much greater heights. I can’t wait until The Sleepless keeps folks staying up to read all night!”

Editor Sarah Guan agreed:

“Everyone dreams about having more time, especially in today’s world of hustle culture and FOMO and the endless firehose of news and media. I’ve certainly wondered how my own life would be improved if only I didn’t need to sleep. So when The Sleepless landed in my inbox, I was excited to experience that fantasy brought to life—and found myself immediately immersed in a thrill-ride of a story where all the soul-crushing end-state implications of capitalism, consumption, and rapacious technological advance were brought to vivid and terrifying life. With The Sleepless, Victor bursts onto the scene as the intellectual successor of such visionaries of the field as William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, bringing warning of a dire future (should we choose to allow the train of today to run off the rails) in the form of pulse-pounding entertainment. I’m absolutely delighted that Erewhon gets to help bring this necessary and timely story to readers everywhere.”

Victor Manibo is a speculative fiction writer living in New York City, and his writing is influenced by his experiences as an immigration and civil rights lawyer. As a queer immigrant and a person of color, he also writes about the lives of people with these identities.

citation

Back to the top of the page

2 Comments

Subscribe to this thread

Post a Comment

All comments must meet the community standards outlined in Tor.com's Moderation Policy or be subject to moderation. Thank you for keeping the discussion, and our community, civil and respectful.

Hate the CAPTCHA? Tor.com members can edit comments, skip the preview, and never have to prove they're not robots. Join now!

Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices.