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HEAVEN (working title)

Piia Leino

  • Original Title: TAIVAS
  • Publication date: January 2018
  • Publisher: Schildts & Söderströms
  • Country: FI
  • 262 print pages
  • Sci-Fi/Dystopia

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Finland
  • Themes: FAMILY, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Reinventing oneself, Life change, Search for origins, Search for the truth, Death, Double identity, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, Totalitarian regime, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Solidarity, Commitment, Friendship, LOVE / HATE, Amorous urge, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character

Pitch

Set in Helsinki, 2058. A mysterious far-right party has taken power, and the citizens are kept submissive through access to an addictive virtual reality called Heaven.

Comments

Translation rights sold: Bulgary, Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine

Winner of the European Union Literature Prize 2018.

A dystopian novel that deals with topical issues: climate change, growing inequality within a welfare state, technological inventions and their growing power, and nationalist movements.

“Leino’s novel builds layers of several interesting themes. It ponders, whether happiness can be found in artificial reality or rather in the ability to feel and function. Even when the future seems hopeless, there are people who won’t content themselves with the status quo. They want change.” –Turun Sanomat newspaper

Reminiscent of dystopian novels like 1984 and THE POWER and an interesting allegory of the fall from Paradise.

Piia Leino (b. 1977) has worked for almost two decades as a journalist at the Finnish news agency, STT. She has a master’s degree in social studies, and she has studied creative writing at the renowned Critical Academy in Helsinki.


Summary

HEAVEN takes place in Helsinki, a city state, former capital of Finland, in 2058. Society has collapsed after a civil war, and a nationalist movement called Light has seized the power. Political dissidents have fled to the North. All borders are closed and contact with the outside world is non-existent. No one entertains any visions of a brighter future anymore.
Instead, Light has given its citizens Heaven: a virtual reality. The old world lives on in Heaven, more vivid and beautiful than it ever really was. Heaven is addictive, but it can only be accessed by people with enough money and standing. Common people lead their lives under oppression and misrule.
Akseli works at the university trying to find out the cause of the epidemic of apathy. People hardly leave their apartments, they don’t talk to each other, no babies are born.
When Akseli is given total access to Heaven, he’s soon about to be consumed by the virtual reality – until he meets a woman called Iina. The meeting in Heaven is so powerful that they decide to meet in reality, too. After that, everything changes.

Report available

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  • Author’s biography

    Piia Leino (b. 1977) has worked for almost two decades as a journalist at the Finnish news agency, STT. She has a master’s degree in social studies, and she has studied creative writing at the renowned Critical Academy in Helsinki.
    Her second novel, dystopian thriller HEAVEN (2018) won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2019 and the first prize in the prose competition of the publisher in 2018. Leino’s third novel will be published in 2020.