New short story in Ploughshares

Alex has a new short story in the Summer 2015 edition of Ploughshares! Here’s a blog post from the magazine about it, with links to order.

Luminarium – Recommended Summer Reading

Luminarium was one of five books recommended for summer reading by The Center for Fiction: Luminarium by Alex Shakar is not the kind of book I would ordinarily choose. Twins who are game developers?  One in a coma, the other struggling to make sense of his life outside the virtual worlds he creates? Neurological studies, military conglomerates, and war games? Didn’t sound like a book I’d like very much.  In fact, I loved it! Shakar takes on the difficult questions of how to find meaning and be fully awake and he does it without pontificating in a story that is engaging from start to finish.  There’s a reason this just won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, so don’t be scared off as I nearly was.

Luminarium – Winner

Luminarium has been awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction:

“Bold, ambitious, and dazzling with ideas and narrative energy, Luminarium is a novel that refuses to settle for contrivance as it goes after the hard truths of family life, technology, culture, and urban experience.  It is a work that demands and rewards a reader’s full engagement.  Alex Shakar’s many-chambered novel leaves us changed for good.”  –2011 Fiction Judges

Luminarium – Flavorwire Recommended Reading

“Luminarium is a sprawling, brilliant look at the globally interconnected world we live in, and the protagonist, Fred Brounian, is a wonderful guide to it — a lovable Eeyore of a guy just trying to find a few answers (or at least figure out the right questions). I loved this one—maybe last year’s most ambitious novel, and certainly one of the strangest.” — Sarah Reidy, Other Press

Luminarium – Finalist

Luminarium has been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Luminarium – Best Books of 2011

Luminarium has been included in the Austin Chronicle’s roundup, “The Year in Books: Thirty-one titles that got us talking this year.”

Luminarium – Favorite Novels of 2011: “Most Metaphysical”

Luminarium has made Washington Post reviewer Ron Charles’ Top Ten Novels list for 2011.

Luminarium – “Best Experimental and Cutting-Edge”

Luminarium made CCLaP’s top ten list, “The Year in Books: Best Experimental and Cutting Edge.”:

“It’s important to realize that this sometimes surreal novel is not the trippy sci-fi tale that its cover and promotional material makes it out to be . . . but what it turns out to be is pretty great too, a clever and meandering examination of the human condition in post-9/11 America, seen through some of the filters that so defined the mid-2000s (virtual worlds, cut-throat startups, Homeland Security, New Age philosophy, the Disney town of Celebration, Florida). . . . A book that will make your jaw drop at points from its pure sense of inventiveness. . . .”

Luminarium – Notable Books of 2011

Luminarium has been selected for The Washington Post’s Notable Fiction of 2011.

Luminarium – Best Books of 2011

Luminarium has been selected as one of the best novels of 2011 by the Kansas City Star:

“Shakar brings a host of profound concerns to this inventive, metaphysical, funny and caring novel set in post-9/11 New York City, ground zero for moral and spiritual paradoxes, in which one twin brother is in a coma and the other is desperately seeking healing and direction as the virtual world they worked so hard to create is commandeered by the ‘military-entertainment complex.’”