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Penguin: Penguin Books Spring 2019

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The Municipalists
A Novel
By (author): Seth Fried
9780143133735 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure Mar 19, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.05 x 7.7 x 0.65 in 272 pages Penguin Books
A novel about an unlikely pair of lonely outsiders—one human, one AI—on an adventure to save the great American city of Metropolis written by “one of the most exciting new voices in fiction” (Charles Yu)

*Named one of the best books of the month by Library Journal (“Debut of the Month”), The Verge, io9, Amazon Books, Book of the Month Club, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, NYLON, and Tor.com*


In Metropolis, the gleaming city of tomorrow, the dream of the great American city has been achieved. But all that is about to change, unless a neurotic, rule-following bureaucrat and an irreverent, freewheeling artificial intelligence can save the city from a mysterious terrorist plot that threatens its very existence.

Henry Thompson has dedicated his life to improving America’s infrastructure as a proud employee of the United States Municipal Survey. So when the agency comes under attack, he dutifully accepts his unexpected mission to visit Metropolis looking for answers. But his plans to investigate quietly, quickly, and carefully are interrupted by his new partner: a day-drinking know-it-all named OWEN, who also turns out to be the projected embodiment of the agency’s supercomputer. Soon, Henry and OWEN are fighting to save not only their own lives and those of the city’s millions of inhabitants, but also the soul of Metropolis. The Municipalists is a thrilling, funny, and touching adventure story, a tour-de-force of imagination that trenchantly explores our relationships to the cities around us and the technologies guiding us into the future.

“A new and irreverent take on both real-world politics and sci-fi history.”-The Wall Street Journal

DEBUT NOVEL FROM AN ACCLAIMED AUTHOR: Seth Fried’s stories have won him an enthusiastic following from critics and big-name authors, all of whom are eagerly awaiting his first novel and are sure to drench it in pre-pub buzz.

HIGH-CONCEPT WITH HEART: Sci-fi trappings and adventure aside, at the heart of The Municipalists is one of the most touching and true depictions of male friendship you’ll soon find in any novel. It’s this combination of emotional core and endearing protagonist that has made books like Ready Player One and The Martian so successful.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The Municipalists explores the ethics and uses of AI—a hot topic—with a fresh angle. Unlike most fictional presentations of AI, this novel takes an optimistic tack, looking at how it can make us appreciate our humanity.

URBANIZATION AND GENTRIFICATION: Set in a seemingly utopian city, Metropolis asking pressing questions about how we can make life in cities better for everyone and not just create playgrounds for the rich.

Seth Fried is the author of the acclaimed short story collection The Great Frustration. He is a recurring contributor to The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” and NPR’s “Selected Shorts,” and his stories have appeared in Tin House, One Story, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Kenyon Review, Vice, and elsewhere. He is also the winner of two Pushcart Prizes and the William Peden Prize.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: Toledo, OH

Marketing: Social media and online promotion

Academic marketing and library promotions

SethFried.com / Twitter



Publicity: Print and online reviews and features

Radio interviews



Author Website: SethFried.com

Author Social Media: Twitter: @Seth_Fried

Praise for Seth Fried and The Municipalists:

Smart, engaging, poignant and funny (not just book funny—actually funny). Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction, and his debut novel showcases his many talents.”-Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“Seth Fried is the future of fiction.”-Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

“Seth Fried is a pure delight to read.”-Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

“A stunning writer.”-Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

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