A Hundred Thousand Worlds
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Date: June 2016
Duration: 13 hours 22 minutes
"A Kavalier & Clay for the Comic-Con Age, this is a bighearted, inventive, exuberant debut." -Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
Valerie Torrey took her son, Alex, and fled Los Angeles six years ago-leaving both her role on a cult sci-fi TV show and her costar husband after a tragedy blew their small family apart. Now Val must reunite nine-year-old Alex with his estranged father, so they set out on a road trip from New York, Val making appearances at comic book conventions along the way.
As they travel west, encountering superheroes, monsters, time travelers, and robots, Val and Alex are drawn into the orbit of the comic-con regulars, from a hapless twentysomething illustrator to a brilliant corporate comics writer stuggling with her industry's old-school ways to a group of cosplay women who provide a chorus of knowing commentary. For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.
A knowing and affectionate portrait of the geeky pleasures of fandom, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is also a tribute to the fierce and complicated love between a mother and son-and to the way the stories we create come to shape us. "Proehl creates worlds within worlds within worlds, all of them full of surprise and wonder. One of the best novels I have read in a while."
-Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
"Who doesn't like a good origin story? This delightful novel has a dozen of them, each sparking deftly off the next. A work of wit and heart, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is for anyone who craves a smart family saga. Especially one with superheroes. I loved it completely."
-Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
"For all its acrobatic wit and outsize charm, at its heart this is the love story of two everyday heroes-a mother and a son-who, like their author, possess the superpower of storytelling. A Kavalier & Clay for the Comic-Con age, A Hundred Thousand Worlds is a bighearted, inventive, exuberant debut."
-Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
"Proehl has done an excellent job of integrating all of the story lines and creating memorable characters to populate them...The story is deeply satisfying and will delight both comics fans and general readers."
-Booklist (Starred Review)