Strange Labour

  • Author Name: Robert Penner
  • Award Year: 2021
  • Publisher: Radiant Press
  • Publication Date: 1013
  • ISBN: 9781989274354

About the Book

The majority of the global population have left the cities and towns to become diggers and work themselves to death in the construction of monumental earthworks. The adults unaffected by this mysterious obsession are part of a dwindling population that survives in the margins of a new society, struggling to construct a meaningful future for themselves. Miranda travels alone across what had once been the American West. After taking care of, and then abandoning a group of dementia patients, she meets Dave, who becomes her travelling companion. Dave recounts his many theories about how and why the apocalypse happened, as they search among the dispossessed for a place called Big Echo. A mesmerizing and uncanny meditation on the meaning of humanity in a universe indifferent to our extinction. This is the unforgettable first novel of Robert G. Penner.

About the Author

Robert G. Penner is a Canadian living in western Pennsylvania. He has published short stories in numerous speculative and literary fiction journals under various pseudonyms and is the founder and editor of Big Echo: Critical Science Fiction ( He is on twitter @billsquirrell. Robert lives in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

2021 Book Awards