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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Cover of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
A novel
Borrow Borrow
In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom.
They borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo: a game where players can escape the confines of a body and the betrayals of a heart, and where death means nothing more than a chance to restart and play again. This is the story of the perfect worlds Sam and Sadie build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.
 
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, games as artform, technology and the human experience, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
Cover image: The Great Wave (detail) by Katsushika Hokusai. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom.
They borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo: a game where players can escape the confines of a body and the betrayals of a heart, and where death means nothing more than a chance to restart and play again. This is the story of the perfect worlds Sam and Sadie build, the imperfect world they live in, and of everything that comes after success: Money. Fame. Duplicity. Tragedy.
 
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, games as artform, technology and the human experience, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
Cover image: The Great Wave (detail) by Katsushika Hokusai. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover Chapter 1

    Before Mazer invented himself as Mazer, he was Samson Mazer, and before he was Samson Mazer, he was Samson Masur—a change of two letters that transformed him from a nice, ostensibly Jewish boy to a Professional Builder of Worlds—and for most of his youth, he was Sam, S.A.M. on the hall of fame of his grandfather’s Donkey Kong machine, but mainly Sam.

    On a late December afternoon, in the waning twentieth century, Sam exited a subway car and found the artery to the escalator clogged by an inert mass of people, who were gaping at a station advertisement. Sam was late. He had a meeting with his academic adviser that he had been postponing for over a month, but that everyone agreed absolutely needed to happen before winter break. Sam didn’t care for crowds—being in them, or whatever foolishness they tended to enjoy en masse. But this crowd would not be avoided. He would have to force his way through it if he were to be delivered to the aboveground world.

    Sam wore an elephantine navy wool peacoat that he had inherited from his roommate, Marx, who had bought it freshman year from the Army Navy Surplus Store in town. Marx had left it moldering in its plastic shopping bag just short of an entire semester before Sam asked if he might borrow it. That winter had been unrelenting, and it was an April nor’easter (April! What madness, these Massachusetts winters!) that finally wore Sam’s pride down enough to ask Marx for the forgotten coat. Sam pretended that he liked the style of it, and Marx said that Sam might as well take it, which is what Sam knew he would say. Like most things purchased from the Army Navy Surplus Store, the coat emanated mold, dust, and the perspiration of dead boys, and Sam tried not to speculate why the garment had been surplussed. But the coat was far warmer than the windbreaker he had brought from California his freshman year. He also believed that the large coat worked to conceal his size. The coat, its ridiculous scale, only made him look smaller and more childlike.

    That is to say, Sam Masur at age twenty-one did not have a build for pushing and shoving and so, as much as possible, he weaved through the crowd, feeling somewhat like the doomed amphibian from the video game Frogger. He found himself uttering a series of “excuse mes” that he did not mean. A truly magnificent thing about the way the brain was coded, Sam thought, was that it could say “Excuse me” while meaning “Screw you.” Unless they were unreliable or clearly established as lunatics or scoundrels, characters in novels, movies, and games were meant to be taken at face value—the totality of what they did or what they said. But people—the ordinary, the decent and basically honest—couldn’t get through the day without that one indispensable bit of programming that allowed you to say one thing and mean, feel, even do, another.

    “Can’t you go around?” a man in a black and green macramé hat yelled at Sam.

    “Excuse me,” Sam said.

    “Dammit, I almost had it,” a woman with a baby in a sling muttered as Sam passed in front of her.

    “Excuse me,” Sam said.

    Occasionally, someone would hastily leave, creating gaps in the crowd. The gaps should have been opportunities of escape for Sam, but somehow, they immediately filled with new humans, hungry for diversion.

    He was nearly to the subway’s escalator when he turned back to see what the crowd had been looking at. Sam could imagine reporting the congestion in the train station, and Marx saying, “Weren’t you even...
About the Author-
  • GABRIELLE ZEVIN is the New York Times and internationally best-selling author of several critically acclaimed novels, including The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, which won the Southern California Independent Booksellers Award and the Japan Booksellers’ Award among other honors, and Young Jane Young, which won the South­ern Book Prize. Her novels have been translated into thirty-nine languages. She has also written books for young readers, including the award-winning Elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 18, 2022
    Zevin (Young Jane Young) returns with an exhilarating epic of friendship, grief, and computer game development. In 1986, Sadie Green, 11, visits a children’s hospital where her sister is recovering from cancer. There, she befriends another patient, a 12-year-old Korean Jewish boy named Sam Masur, who has a badly injured foot, and the two bond over their love for video games. Their friendship ruptures, however, after Sam discovers Sadie’s been tallying the visits to fulfill her bat mitzvah service. Years later, they reconnect while attending college in Boston. Sam is wowed by a game Sadie developed, called Solution. In it, a player who doesn’t ask questions will unknowingly build a widget for the Third Reich, thus forcing the player to reflect on the impact of their moral choices. He proposes they design a game together, and relying on help from his charming, wealthy Japanese Korean roommate, Marx, and Sadie’s instructor cum abusive lover, Dov, they score a massive hit with Ichigo, inspired by The Tempest. In 2004, their virtual world-builder Mapletown allows for same-sex marriages, drawing ire from conservatives, and a violent turn upends everything for Sam and Sadie. Zevin layers the narrative with her characters’ wrenching emotional wounds as their relationships wax and wane, including Sadie’s resentment about sexism in gaming, Sam’s loss of his mother, and his foot amputation. Even more impressive are the visionary and transgressive games (another, a shooter, is based on the poems of Emily Dickinson). This is a one-of-a-kind achievement. Agent: Doug Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic.

  • AudioFile Magazine Jennifer Kim's narration shows an understanding of how relaxed pacing can lead to poignancy. Kim portrays three young gaming geniuses, Sadie, Sam and Marx. Gradually, she reveals their relationships as she powerfully expresses how talent and collaboration yield success--but not without trials. Sadie feels unrecognized, and Sam is traumatized by the accident that caused his mother's death and his own shattered foot. Marx is likened to a minor NPC, nonplayable game character, until Julian Cihi delivers a short second-person section from Marx's point of view. His voice is soft, distant, and dreamy as the hero hovers between life and death. This novel's meaningful metaphors are one more facet of the audio that will be loved by gamers and non-gamers alike. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine
  • Library Journal

    September 1, 2022

    Zevin's (The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry) latest explores the many facets of growing up, loving oneself and others, and finding success. Sam and Sadie first meet in a children's hospital ward, where they bond over their shared love of video games. Decades later, they reconnect as college students, eventually creating a popular video game that launches them into stardom. As they reach adulthood and contend with newfound fame, the two navigate the complexities of identity, disability, failure, and friendship. Jennifer Kim and Julian Cihi's narration brings Sam and Sadie to life as fully fleshed characters--emotional, fallible, and entirely human. Their narration allows for the nuances of their relationship to surface, creating a multi-layered love story that encompasses more than romance. Gamers will appreciate Zevin's insights into the gaming world, although listeners without gaming knowledge will also find much to enjoy. VERDICT Share widely with gamers, non-gamers, and anyone who appreciates well-drawn relationship stories. Perfect for fans of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One and Kayla Rae Whitaker's The Animators.--Elyssa Everling

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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