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The Offset

A novel by

It is your eighteenth birthday and one of your parents must die. You are the one who decides. Who do you pick?

In a dying world, the Offset ceremony has been introduced to counteract and discourage procreation. It is a rule that is simultaneously accepted, celebrated and abhorred. But in this world, survival demands sacrifice so for every birth, there must be a death.

Professor Jac Boltanski is leading Project Salix, a ground-breaking new mission to save the world by replanting radioactive Greenland with genetically-modified willow trees. But things aren’t working out and there are discrepancies in the data. Has someone intervened to sabotage her life’s work?
In the meantime, her daughter Miri, an anti-natalist, has run away from home. Days before their Offset ceremony where one of her mothers must be sentenced to death, she is brought back against her will following a run-in with the law. Which parent will Miri pick to die: the one she loves, or the one she hates who is working to save the world?

Genre: Science Fiction

Praise for this book

"The Offset is spare, elegant, and thought-provoking as the best classic science fiction. Calder Szewczak is a name to watch." - Daniel Abraham

"Smart, compelling and absolutely of the moment. A truly elegant debut." - Luke Jennings

"An honest, terrifying and sincere look into our future." - Keren Landsman

"The Offset’s searing critique of anti-natalism could do for eco-fascism what Ninety Eighty-Four did for socialism and Brave New World did for eugenics." - Ken MacLeod

"The Offset crushed me. This is an expertly – and starkly – written, well-drawn eco-dystopian novel about the ultimate measure of austerity taken in order to save the planet. There’s so much that was done well here: the world, the science, the societal conflict – but to get into the (possibly carnivorous) weeds would distract from soul of this book. It is a bare-knuckle punch to the heart. Calder Szewczak made me suffer – brilliantly." - Chris Panatier

"The Offset was a dark and fascinating read – a twisted reversal of The Handmaid’s Tale set in a ravaged dystopia, simmering with menace and tension. Bleak, haunting and intriguing." - Jennifer Saint

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