What people are saying:
"The arrival of Hetherington’s unique narrative voice may announce the coming of a new genre. Call it Post Singularity Toronto Gothic, if you will. You may be tempted, if you are as impressed by this debut as this reviewer is, to see Hetherington as the millennial generation’s persuasive answer to Atwood."
- The Vancouver Sun
"Word started to spread in literary circles earlier this spring about a startling literary debut, a first novel called Mooncalves by Victoria Hetherington, published by a very small press in Vancouver. Such presses have no money for publicity, so the only way for a novel such as that to create some word of mouth is to be really, really good. Here is evidence, for the skeptical, that it sometimes does happen. Mooncalves is a stunning debut."
- The Globe and Mail
"With family resemblances to other Canadians, specifically the novels of Lynn Crosbie and the body-horror films of early David Cronenberg...Mooncalves forges its own path. The novel brims with tonal shifts — gruesome violence, eerie sci-fi, black comedy, oddball, deeply urban bits that wouldn’t be out of place in the Netflix series Russian Doll, irreverent but laugh-aloud scenes from the sex wars and eye-catching absurdity. A stylish puzzle of a story, Victoria Hetherington’s debut novel is prickly and demanding and a bit feral but both singular and absorbing."
- The Toronto Star
"From Netflix’s Wild Wild Country to a slew of books – including Claudia Dey’s Heartbreaker, Victoria Hetherington’s Mooncalves, and Emma Cline’s The Girls...explorations of cults are filling a particular, and dark, societal need."
- Quill and Quire
"A work of great thematic depth...[the central relationship] I completely loved and have had to restrain myself from writing paragraph after paragraph. Hetherington is a poet as well as a novelist...[Mooncalves] ruminates, as a human (or posthuman?) mind might, on gender and sexuality, cults and power, technology and culture, cities and ecologies. In doing so it takes up the mantle of the philosophical novel in a particularly generous and admirable way....it will linger with you in the days and weeks after you think you have finished it. It moves through time and space in a complex dialectic of its own."
- The Puritan
"Mooncalves is capable of becoming The Handmaid’s Tale of our time not only because of how relevant it is to current discussions about climate change and patriarchy but also for some of the ways it goes further in its discussion of feminism... What [the female protagonists] all have in common is Joseph, self-professed prophet and leader of a violent cult called Walden that is based on a real cult that operated in rural Quebec in the 1980s. It is a book that is, in many ways, unlike anything that I have read before, and it is hard to imagine I will encounter anything quite like it again. It has a haunting sort of quirkiness that no amount of retelling can do justice to."
- The Town Crier
"Mooncalves is startling...A truly harrowing read that strips all of the glamor from the genre within which it operates."
- Broken Pencil Magazine
"Set against a backdrop of impending environmental catastrophe, Hetherington’s fresh and unconventional story is composed of deeply complex characters including cult devotees, time travellers, synthetic companions, and ghosts. Hetherington offers us a biting social critique in this stunning debut."
- Kathryn Mockler, author of Onion Man
" Hetherington is a beautiful writer. In the depraved and terrifying future she creates, her sentences dance nimbly, brightly across the page, like the palest of flowers left on decomposing bodies."
- Diana Wagman, author of Extraordinary October
" Anchored by survivalist women’s voices, this dystopic story catapults the Millennial perspective into the visionary position. In this cultish, futuristic landscape, I was reassured by this mysterious talent women have, to absorb ancestrally, survivalist tricks fit for any era.”
- Alisha Piercy, author of Bunny and Shark
"Hetherington holds nothing back, whether it’s sexual, violent, or emotionally toxic. You will have trouble putting Mooncalves down, because as protagonist Erica says, “transgression can be unbearably sexy.”
- Myna Wallin, author of Confessions of a Reluctant Cougar
"There are Quebecois naturalist/sex cults and dystopian robot pets and a digital apocalypse (or “bright machine hell”) called The Merge. Someone eats a live pigeon. The whole thing would make a good Black Mirror movie, except you get the sense the producers might feel uneasy trying to adapt it. The book feels like its title: a, slippery, aberrant birth, but replayed as a hologram."
- J.R. McConvey, author of Different Beasts
"A ganglion of masterfully structured insights and anxieties reminiscent of Jean Rhys and Renata Adler. Mooncalves speaks closer than most to our contemporary moment."
- Michael Turner, author of Hard Core Logo