Ethan Chatagnier is the author of the story collection Warnings from the Future (Acre Books, 2018). His stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review Online, Georgia Review, New England Review, and other journals, and have been awarded a Pushcart Prize and listed as notable in the Best American Short Stories. He lives in Fresno, California, with his family.
Singer Distance is a surprising, captivating, surpassingly intelligent novel, and I mean it as a great compliment when I say that I’m not quite sure where it came from. The narrator who leads us through its pages insists that he is one of the world’s carpenters rather than one of its architects, but the reality that surrounds him is extraordinary, and so too, therefore, is his story. On the macroscale, it’s a story about the interpersonal pathways that connect one planet to another and the interplanetary gaps that separate one heart from another; on the microscale, about what it feels like to occupy a single life, and how difficult it is to tell, when you’re in the middle of it, whether that life is being wasted or fulfilled.
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Ghost Variations
Imaginative and brainy, this is a beautifully written book about one of my favorite subjects: extraordinary possibilities.
—Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers
An achingly beautiful look at living in the shadow of genius, science, math, and loving the difficult to love. Chatagnier looks at the sky and people with equal wonder, and the result is deeply moving. Singer Distance is a book for readers of Sagan, lovers of paradoxes, anyone who has ever looked up. This truly gorgeous novel will live with me for a long time.
—Erika Swyler, author of Light from Other Stars
Ethan Chatagnier’s Singer Distance is one of the rarest and best kinds of novels: a truly thrilling story driven by big ideas and bold writing, whose gripping mysteries only deepen as the plot thickens. You won’t see the stars and the planets above the same way once you’ve experienced this unforgettable book. You won’t look at our Earth the same way either.
—Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
Singer Distance pulled me in from the very first page. I fell in love with the characters—who are full of mettle, vitality, and human chaos—and the audacity of the book’s alternate history, wherein contact has been made with a civilization on Mars, but that contact leaves humanity with more questions than answers about the nature of the universe. This book is a love song to our desire for understanding, the scientific drive for progress, and the thread of faith that runs through both. An outstanding debut novel.
—Adrienne Celt, author of End of the World House