Cascade Book Launches & Signing

Rachel A. Rosen hosts the first book signing for her debut novel, Cascade, Friday, July 29th, 2022, 6:00 PM at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto. Masks absolutely required!

“Rachel A. Rosen is some kind of twisted genius. I wish I had even half her moves.” — Peter Watts, author of Blindsight

If day drinking is more your cup of tea, join us for a launch party at the Imperial Pub at 4 pm on Sunday, July 31st! You can even see the legendary location where the first part of Cascade was written.

Cascade: Writing the Apocalypse

Cascade was never meant to be a work of climate fiction.

My meandering novel of magic, monsters, and machinations grew its themes organically. Not everything, even in a novel about politics, needs to be a political allegory. Sometimes the tentacle of a long-dead god emerging from the bottom of the ocean is just a tentacle of a long-dead god emerging from the bottom of the ocean. But the further I wrote, and the more IPCC reports were released to resounding global silence and inaction, the more it became obvious that the apocalypse that threatened the world of Cascade was a one not dissimilar to the one that imperils our own.

This led to one of my many bouts of soul searching while writing the novel. Could I even finish the book, let alone the series, before reality rendered it irrelevant? Was it selfish to care about that? Was it even ethical to write a book—which, for all its topicality, is a work of entertainment—when our planet is on fire? Surely my time was better spent at a pipeline blockade or, at the very least, marching in the street.

It may disappoint you, gentle reader, that I don’t have those answers. But I have done a fair bit of thinking about the role of artists, and other creators, during a climate apocalypse.

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The Music of Cascade

I didn’t set out to do it, but music is woven through Cascade like a spell. From Lucy’s opera to Ian’s fiddle, music is the backdrop of my characters’ lives—and of my own writing process.

I went from always listening to music when I wrote, to never listening to it, to a particular ritual during the pandemic where most of my drafting happened while listening to The Friday Night Parkdale Special. (At least the ending of Cascade was written to Motown, Tipper Gore’s Filthy 15, and hair metal. FNPS—and I— contain musical multitudes.) 

But there’s also the songs that I listen to when I’m imagining my world and my characters and the soundtrack to their story, and those are the songs I’m going to talk about in this post. I’ve put the whole playlist on Spotify, but I’ll share some highlights below.

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Last-minute Cascade pre-order promotion

Do you want weird mail from a weird author? Pre-order the ebook edition of Cascade before June 15 and you too can have something strange show up in your snail mailbox. Just DM Rachel on Instagram or the Night Beats Twitter with the receipt (and your favourite astrological sign—doesn’t need to be yours), and we’ll send you a personalized postcard by Rachel and stickers from After Hours in Toronto.

Get Cascade from your favourite online bookstore here!

The ebook version of Cascade sitting on the paperback version of Cascade, surrounded by fairy lights and various swag and objects.

Cascade Kindle pre-order

Cascade (the Kindle edition) is now available for pre-order. You can get it here:

Other formats are coming soon. There’s also still time to back the Kickstarter for limited edition offers and multiple formats.

Advance praise for Cascade

  • “Finally, an urban fantasy that kills the cop—and the rest of the  government—in your head. Relentlessly radical and often hilarious, Cascade will change the way you look at magic, and the state,  forever.” — Nick Mamatas, author of The Second Shooter.
  • Cascade is an excellent introduction to the imaginative prose of Rachel A. Rosen. Her debut novel takes us to a futuristic North America filled with vividly realized characters surrounded by magic and the possible end of the world. One of the few novels I’ve read recently in a single weekend. Sharp and thought-provoking, with thrilling moments and crackling with compelling ideas, I wouldn’t miss this one. I’m looking forward to her next instalment!”— Bryan Thao Worra, author of BEFORE WE REMEMBER WE DREAM.
  • “Rachel A. Rosen’s Cascade is one of the best books I’ve read this year. She brings a unique blend of magic environmentalism, Canadian politicking, and indigenous and queer rights to the table. I never thought I would be so interested in the near-futuristic Canadian political process!” — Marsha Altman, author of The Darcys and the Bingleys
  • “Full of magic and social commentary, Cascade is never so witty that it hides its anger or so angry that it sacrifices wit. This is a brilliant exciting debut by an author that will have a long and fruitful career if there’s any justice in the world.” — Tim Lieder, author of Sugarplum Zombie Motherfuckers

Cascade Kickstarter

What does magic want?

When Vasai Singh resurrected drowned Mumbai and raised it into the clouds, the world reacted with awe and wonder – and no small amount of fear. As with the climate crisis believed to have caused the Cascade, resurgent magic proved lucky for some, a disaster for many others, and a source of hope and dread for everyone else.

A generation has passed since the Cascade transformed the world, smashing the tectonic plates of the political landscape and infesting the wilderness with demons and shriekgrass.

In Ottawa, a scandal-plagued government clings to power, kept afloat by the manipulations of its precognitive political rainman, Ian Mallory. But when his predictions signal only catastrophe ahead, the magic-loathing photojournalist Tobias Fletcher, land rights activist Jonah Augustine, his ex-wife, climate scientist Blythe Augustine, and emoji-spell wielding intern Sujay Krishnamurthy must overcome ideology and bureaucracy to save a future from a present whose agenda spells only doom.

Rachel A. Rosen’s debut novel, Cascade, has been variously described as magic realism, climate fantasy and, as its publisher prefers, fantasy that feels like science fiction.

Set in a terrifying but all-too believable near future and leavened with a dry wit, Cascade features a cast of fully-realized characters drawn into conflict with each other as they each strive to do the right thing.

But who can know what the right thing is, when every choice leads to catastrophe?

The Cascade Kickstarter is now fully funded, but you can still back it, receive a copy in the format of your choice, and get rewards, including postcards, limited edition chapbooks, and resin koi. Cascade has been named as a Project We Love by Kickstarter. Get in while supplies last!

Cascade Cover Reveal

At long last, we’re thrilled to reveal the cover for CascadeYou can read a little bit about our adventures on BumblePuppy Press’s blog (spoiler: these adventures involved tentacles, as all good adventures should).

Designing a cover is always a process, but even more so when you’re the author of the book. Cascade is a political fantasy, its magic rooted in climate change rather than bloodlines or wands, and the cover needed to capture both the sorcery and the socialism that you’ll find in its pages.

Stay tuned for a Kickstarter link and release news, coming soon!

Night Beats games

We’ve gone truly cross-media, with two TTRPG games inspired by Night Beats lore and works. We can’t wait to play them.

Check out Headcanon and Disaster Wizards, both by the amazing Julian Gunn, available for download at itch.io, along with his many other delightful, humorous, and startlingly poignant games.

Headcanon:

All the apocalypses have begun to blur together, but this one could be something special.

In Headcanon, the two of you – friends, enemies, allies, all of the above – play out the final episode of the Eternal Show, a nearly infinite low-budget horror-speculative-fiction-suspense-medical-drama-police-procedural-apocalyptic TV series.

In this low-prep ttrpg, players create collaborative poker hands to determine their characters’ actions and the success or failure of the scene.

Disaster Wizards

You, a wizard, are competing in the most prestigious magical tournament in the multiverse.

Two things.

One: this is an elite contest of skill, wits, and laser-like focus.

Two: you are a f*cking disaster.

This game is a Honey Heist hack.