Toward Eternity

Anton Hur

Book cover for Toward Eternity
Book cover for Toward Eternity

Toward Eternity

Toward Eternity

Anton Hur

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Negotiating the terrain of Kazuo Ishiguro's Klara and the Sun and Emily St. John Mandel's Sea of Tranquility, a brilliant, haunting speculative novel from a #1 New York Times bestselling translator that sets out to answer the question: What does it mean to be human in a world where technology is quickly catching up to biology?

In a near-future world, a new technological therapy is quickly eradicating cancer. The body's cells are entirely replaced with nanites--robot or android cells which not only cure those afflicted but leaves them virtually immortal.

Literary researcher Yonghun teaches an AI how to understand poetry and creates a living, thinking machine he names Panit, meaning Beloved, in honor of his husband. When Yonghun--himself a recipient of nanotherapy--mysteriously vanishes into thin air and then just as suddenly reappears, the event raises disturbing questions. What happened to Yonghun, and though he's returned, is he really himself anymore?

When Dr. Beeko, the scientist who holds the patent to the nanotherapy technology, learns of Panit, he transfers its consciousness from the machine into an android body, giving it freedom and life. As Yonghun, Panit, and other nano humans thrive--and begin to replicate--their development will lead them to a crossroads and a choice with existential consequences.

Exploring the nature of intelligence and the unexpected consequences of progress, the meaning of personhood and life, and what we really have to fear from technology and the future, Toward Eternity is a gorgeous, thought-provoking novel that challenges the notion of what makes us human--and how love survives even the end of that humanity.

Critical Reviews

"Anton Hur emerges as one of the most exciting translators, and now authors, of our generation. Toward Eternity develops a surreal and subversive terrain of nanite swarms, exploding memories, and symphonic poetry. Hur unburies both familiar and ancient history, geography, and language--a sprawling, crystalline, and deftly crafted vision of a yet unimaginable future."
-- E. J. Koh, author of The Liberators

"Anton Hur is a genius and this book is a fast, fun, and smart read. An exploration of language, AI, and what it means to be human, TOWARD ETERNITY is a terrific debut from a fearless writer and acclaimed translator."
-- Matthew Salesses, author of The Sense of Wonder

"Hur is first and foremost one of our best writers. This chilling gem of speculative fiction is written with the restrained elegance and dazzling precision of an expert who can bend, tone, and ultimately alchemize language into a truly singular storytelling experience. You'll never look at the intersections of poetry and biology, and art and technology, the same again. What a delight to witness a writer in complete control of his craft, to experience the thrills of invention as unforgettable as the most canonical cautionary tales of the genre."
-- Porochista Khakpour, author of Tehrangeles and Sick: A Memoir

"[A] moving, philosophical exploration of what it means to be alive. Hur asks whether the self can exist beyond biology and memory, whether souls can be made rather than born, and whether the most enduring part of humanity might be as ethereal a concept as love....Hur's thought-provoking novel will appeal to readers who love gripping metaphysical science fiction, such as Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Memory or Robert J. Sawyer's Calculating God." -- Library Journal (starred review)

"National Book Award-finalist Hur is deservedly the Korean-to-English translator of choice. Language, unsurprisingly, drives his spectacular, speculative debut novel....Hur creates with expansive erudition harnessing science, technology, history, landscapes, culture; his world building is brilliant and boundless." -- Booklist (starred review)

"[A]n unfailing affirmation of the persistence of love and art, even in the face of oblivion, one that tells us 'it's the story you write that is you.' A novel that traces humanity's journey from what we imagine ourselves to be to what's next." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Wonderful....A fascinating cast of characters....Toward Eternity displays a deep and subtle care for language..... I mentioned Egan, and was also reminded of Charles Stross's Accelerando and Cory Doctorow's Walkaway. Although profoundly divergent in style, Toward Eternity makes an interesting companion to Ben Berman Ghan's The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits, another recent speculative and poetic work on identity, AI, and far-future visions.... Toward Eternity has an insistence on persistence that's intensely human even when its characters have moved beyond that category." -- Locus

Publishing Information

Publisher: Harpervia
Pub date: 2024-07-09
Length: 256 pages

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