The Sleepless (Paperback)
In a hyper-capitalist near future, a grieving journalist investigates his mentor’s death—while grappling with unintended consequences of biohacking that just might implicate him in it.
A mysterious pandemic causes a quarter of the world to permanently lose the ability to sleep—without any apparent health implications. The outbreak creates a new class of people who are both feared and ostracized, most of whom optimize their extra hours to earn more money.
Journalist Jamie Vega is Sleepless: he can’t sleep, nor does he need to. When his boss dies on the eve of a controversial corporate takeover, Jamie doesn’t buy the too-convenient explanation of suicide, and launches an investigation of his own.
But everything goes awry when Jamie discovers that he was the last person who saw Simon alive. Not only do the police suspect him, Jamie himself has no memory of that night. Alarmingly, his memory loss may have to do with how he became Sleepless: not naturally, like other Sleepless people, but through a risky and illegal biohacking process.
As Jamie delves deeper into Simon’s final days, he tangles with extremist organizations and powerful corporate interests, all while confronting past traumas and unforeseen consequences of his medical experimentation. But Jamie soon faces the most dangerous decision of all as he uncovers a terrifying truth about Sleeplessness that imperils him—and all of humanity.
About the Author
Victor Manibo is a Filipino speculative fiction writer living in New York. A 2022 Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Fellow, he is the author of the science fiction noir novel The Sleepless. His next novel, Escape Velocity, is forthcoming from Erewhon Books in Spring 2024. Find him online at victormanibo.com or on Twitter @victormanibo.
“A tale of insidious, corporate-capitalist implications . . . and the human consequences of a life without dreams.” —Booklist
“Bracing pageturner. . . . blending SF and mystery/thriller tropes with social justice concerns to discuss discrimination, ambition, betrayal, family, memory as defining who we are, and capitalism’s devastating will to power.” —Library Journal’s “Top Fall Debut Novels”
“Manibo neatly dissects the drawbacks of capitalist demands on society in this taut near-future procedural. It’s smart, high-tech noir.” — Publishers Weekly
“[A] gripping, nightmarish descent into obsession, addiction, and the horrible journalistic pursuit of truth at the expense of literally everything else. . . . [A] deep, introspective reflection on the ways in which productivity has taken over our lives, and the novel crafts a compassionate treatise on what makes people’s lives worth living.” —io9's “Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2022”
“The Sleepless is a thrilling debut with a fresh, edgy voice.” —Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Fittingly titled, as the compulsive plot will keep you turning pages, way past your bedtime. The Sleepless does what only the best science fiction can do: create a world so boldly changed—but so hauntingly true—that it teaches us much about our own.” —Sam J. Miller, author of Blackfish City
“Victor Manibo’s The Sleepless has everything I want in a near-future whodunit: an irresistible ‘what if’ premise, a twisty and desperate murder investigation, and a razor-sharp examination of the chillingly recognizable dark side of a seemingly bright future. The Sleepless delivers on its promise; I could not close my eyes.” —Fonda Lee, author of the Green Bone Saga
“Manibo has crafted a sharp, immersive dose of speculative fiction, a potent blend of science fiction and noir. The Sleepless will prove its name: you won’t be able to put it down, even as bedtime beckons.” —Alex Segura, author of Secret Identity
“A meditative near-future thriller that explores grief, meaning, and time in a world that’s terrifyingly plausible.” —Lincoln Michel, author of The Body Scout
“The Sleepless is an expertly crafted tale of exploitation and deceit set within the eldritch horror of a neverending capitalist grind.” —K. M. Szpara, author of First, Become Ashes
“The Sleepless is just the beginning; Victor Manibo is an author to keep your eye on.” —Lara Elena Donnelly, author of The Amberlough Dossier
“The best kind of science fiction . . . A knockout of a debut.” —Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse