Kat Meads

In the valley, no one sleeps. In the valley computers and virtual reality rule, pricking the brain with info-bits. So the founders exiled themselves from the valley into the mountains, where sleep and dreaming have become the rule, where "Cassandras" sleep-walk and prophesy, where dreams are constantly analyzed, where over-stimulation and agitation are forbidden even to teenagers. . . . Caught between this dichotomy, how do Lieutenant Maud, Commander Rosa, and Repeat fit their revolution in? Or is their revolution even a revolution? Has it all been planned by the Valley? Conversely, will it all be subsumed by the lethargy of the mountain "nods" and "Cassandras"?

Kat Meads (Not Waving) has written a dystopic novel filled with emotion and emotional characters, including a trio of rebellious teenage girls, a wired and paranoid Commander, a faithful lieutenant protecting her commander, a babbling genius with a photographic memory gone awry, and asundry villains and heroes. Meads examines this not-so-distant future not to entertain us with techno-gadgetry and word coinages, but to reflect on our own times and find that betrayal, idealism, love, faithfulness, and general emotional confusion remain the human constant, no matter the situation, no matter how much—or how little—information inserts itself.

ISBN, trade paper:1-931982-28-7, $14.95                 Sale $7.50

ISBN, library edition: 1-931982-27-9, $25.00             Sale $12.50

264 Pages

 About the Author: 

Kat Meads is the author of four previous novels and several collections of poetry and prose. She last published with Livingston Press writing as Z.K. Burrus. A native of eastern North Carolina, she lives in California and teaches in Oklahoma City University’s low-residency MFA program.

 Excerpt From the Book:

    No one disturbed them at the lookout—the nods didn’t manicure so far afield. Their favorite perch was overgrown, wild with vines, stinky with ragwort. Spying, they crouched on principle, inviting muscle strain, wanting to feel their calves ache.
    “Mega,” Parish chanted, upping the enhancers’ magnification.
    “Ultra mega,” Luce agreed because even the reg-view of that all-wired, sleepless place mesmerized. Night and day The Valley teased and twinkled through a brown haze.
    Parish believed only ancients who couldn’t keep pace disliked The Valley; Luce felt less sure. Plenty of Retreat residents gauged younger than 30 cycles—nods, transfers, even her Dream Lab supervisor. Parish’s theory might explain why the majority fled, but there were other reasons to exit—had to be.
    “Your turn.”
Pressing too hard against the enhancers’ eye slots, attempting a closer close-in of The Valley and its gridwork, Parish had dented her face, creased her cheeks. All Recovereds yearned for locational specifics, the precise coordinates of where they were found when finally they were. Most of their kind arrived with lacerations, pneumonia, birth addictions; Parish came stenciled, the word “Paris” looping from wrist to elbow. A name too fraught, too suggestive of disruption, according to the kinder nods who added the “h,” transforming a moniker of chaos into a community comfort tag.