Michael Helm on his award-nominated novel "After James"
2016 FinalistAtwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for After James
“A warning, a lament, a virtuoso engagement with our times, After James is a singular, puzzle-box of a novel delivered in gorgeous prose. In three stages, with passing homage to the genres of horror, detective, and apocalyptic novels, Michael Helm brilliantly extrapolates riveting narratives from the wonderment of contemporary biology and physics. Failing to connect to a Godhead of old, the characters in After James are transfigured by pills, or by having to defend themselves against the maniacal genius of a computer hacker, or by warring against viral endemics. Readers may find themselves challenged: the jurors did. Those who persevere will be rewarded. Speculative, revelatory, dramatic, and subtly interconnected, the three sections of After James veer ever closer to an end time, yet the novel celebrates being human, and being here, now” — 2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla)