In a state-of-the-art city where social media drives every aspect of the economy, a has-been Hollywood director and an investigative journalist race to uncover the relationship between a rising tide of violence and corporate corruption.
Bold, colorful, and dangerously seductive, Eutopia is a new breed of hi-tech city. Rising out of the American desert, it’s a real-world manifestation of a social media network where fame-hungry desperados compete for likes and followers. But in Eutopia, the bloodier and more daring posts pay off the most. As crime rises, no one stands to gain more than Eutopia’s architects—and, of course, the shareholders who make the place possible.
This multiple-POV novel follows three characters as they navigate the city’s underworld. Cedric Travers, a has-been Hollywood director, comes to Eutopia looking for clues into his estranged wife’s disappearance. What he finds instead is a new career directing—not movies, but experiences. The star of the show: A’rore, the city’s icon and lead social media influencer. She’s panicking as her popularity wanes, and she’ll do anything do avoid obscurity. Sacha Villanova, a tech and culture reporter, is on assignment to profile A’rore—but as she digs into Eutopia’s inner workings, she unearths a tangle of corporate corruption that threatens to sacrifice Cedric, A’rore, and even the city itself on the altar of stockholder greed
Published by California Coldblood Books (a Rare Bird Books imprint), NEON EMPIRE comes out on September 10, 2019.
“A vibrant, densely-visual, often-uncanny vision of a world that is equal parts dystopian future and twisted present. Hugely engaging, strange, dangerous and quite unlike anything you’ve read before. Original, techno-paranoid sci-fi at its finest.”
Neon Literary Magazine UK
“Drew Minh uses his background in digital advertising to craft an all-too-believable Brave New World for our social-media addicted age. Recommended for fans of Black Mirror.”
New York Times bestseller Andrew Shaffer
“Minh creates a nonstop social media frenzy amid a rich cyberpunk landscape in this vivid debut. Cedric Travers travels to Eutopia, the always-networked vacation mecca, after his estranged wife, Mila, goes missing amid accusations of corporate espionage and terrorism. Instead of finding answers to Mila’s disappearance, Cedric gets romantically entangled with A’rore, Eutopia’s conniving lead influencer, and ultimately steps into Mila’s job running the vicious marketing machine that keeps Eutopia trending and guests visiting. But to its creators, keeping Eutopia running smoothly is worth killing for. When tech journalist Sacha Villanova starts unraveling Eutopia’s dirty secrets, not even Cedric’s ploys may be enough to stop Eutopia from imploding. With shifting points of view and sharply detailed descriptions, Minh sets up a gripping, if uneven, dynamic between the characters, spicing the intrigue with action. Fans of SF thrillers will enjoy this colorful high-tech mystery and its echoes of the present-day hunger for likes, favorites, and going viral. (Sept.)”
“Drew Minh has constructed a world that is scarily close to our present day–Uber has reached its natural apex and is now doling out sex-on-demand; we make our money from our social feeds and are constantly searching for the next monetizable thrill. I wouldn’t want to live in Neon Empire, but it sure is a fun place to visit.”
Jessica Powell, author of The Big Disruption: A Totally Fictional but Essentially True Silicon Valley Story