An exhilarating, original novel, set in Brazil, Idaho, and outer space, about an obsessive librarian, a down-at-heel author, and a disgraced historian who go on the hunt for a mystical, life-changing book–and find it.
The Infinite Future is a mindbending novel that melds two page-turning tales in one. In the first, we meet three broken people, joined by an obsession with a forgotten Brazilian science-fiction author named Salgado-MacKenzie. There’s Danny, a writer who’s been scammed by a shady literary award committee; Sergio, journalist turned sub-librarian in São Paulo; and Harriet, an excommunicated Mormon historian in Salt Lake City, who years ago corresponded with the reclusive Brazilian writer. The motley trio sets off to discover his identity, and whether his fabled masterpiece–never published–actually exists. Did his inquiries into the true nature of the universe yield something so enormous that his mind was blown for good?
In the second half, Wirkus gives us the lost masterpiece itself–the actual text of The Infinite Future, Salgado-MacKenzie’s wonderfully weird magnum opus. The two stories merge in surprising and profound ways. Part science-fiction, part academic satire, and part book-lover’s quest, this wholly original novel captures the heady way that stories inform and mirror our lives.
Available now from Penguin Press
THE INFINITE FUTURE
PRAISE FOR THE INFINITE FUTURE
“Brilliant, playful, and profound, The Infinite Future offers its readers stories within stories within stories, all of them thrilling and wise. Tim Wirkus has written a strange and beautiful magic trick of a book, and I was enthralled. I loved it.”
– Edan Lepucki, author of California and Woman No. 17
“The Infinite Future is uniquely pleasurable. Again and again it changes the terms of its telling—wrapping stories within stories and narrators within narrators, enclosing the mystical in the earthly and the fantastic in the realistic….Wirkus has a gift for maintaining a story’s equilibrium, and with each new narrative layer he explores, I found myself instantly reinvested in the proceedings.”
– Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“Tim Wirkus has worked wonders. The Infinite Future is an astonishing feat, a religious text wrapped in a science-fiction yarn wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a road trip wrapped in a snarky collegiate literary feud. At every turn it surprises and delights, and in the end it proves itself a deeply moving examination of what it means to tell—and more importantly, be told—stories.”
– Forrest Leo, author of The Gentleman
“Tim Wirkus has channeled the ghost of Laurence Sterne and the imagination of René Magritte. From the foreword on I was taken by this novel. Entertaining, fun and very, very smart, the story is everywhere at once, but never lost. This is a house of mirrors worth entering.”
– Percival Everett, author of Erasure and Half an Inch of Water
"Roberto Bolaño meets Ursula K. Le Guin meets James Hynes meets, um, Kilgore Trout? I'm having a difficult time being clever in the shadow of having read Tim Wirkus's magnificently audacious The Infinite Future. How about this: it's a book about the power and melancholy magic of the stories we tell and of the stories we live."
– Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil's Rock