The Many Selves of Katherine North

MSKNKit has been projecting into other species for seven years.
Longer than anyone else at ShenCorp.
Longer than any of the scientists thought possible.
But lately she has the feeling that when she jumps she isn’t alone…

Since she was twelve, Kit has been a phenomenaut. Under the watchful eye of Buckley, her neuroengineer, her consciousness is projected into the bodies of lab-grown animals made for the purpose of research.
Kit experiences a multitude of other lives – fighting and fleeing, as predator and prey, mammal, bird and reptile – always hoping, but never quite believing that her work will help humans better understand the other species living alongside them.
One evening, whilst on a jump as an urban fox, Kit senses an unfamiliar creature watching her. It looks like another fox, but her sharp, animal instincts detect something strange about it. Distracted, she is hit by a car and pulled abruptly back to her human body.
The recordings of the jump show no other foxes nearby and Buckley saw nothing on his monitors. But Kit knows it was there: a shadow, a flame, a presence that didn’t belong.
When she is unexpectedly forced to withdraw from the research division of ShenCorp to become the poster girl for the company’s new tourism project, Kit begins to suspect that those she has trusted her entire working life are out to cause her harm.
And, as she delves deeper into the events of that night, her world begins to shift in ways she had never thought possible. Read an extractBuy

Praise for The Many Selves of Katherine North:

“The novel succeeds as a literary thriller, as Kit’s paranoia increases, and as a fascinating comparison of human/animal behaviour. Geen’s descriptions of what it might be like to inhabit the bodies of, variously, foxes, spiders and octopuses are worth the price of the book alone” –  The Guardian

“[O]ne of the most exciting debut novels I have read in years. Full of scientific and philosophical speculation and yet grounded in a world of material conditions and psychological consequences, the novel provides exactly what I want to see from 21st Century science fiction” – Interzone

“In this exhilarating metaphysical white-knuckle ride Geen takes us into the other worlds that crouch, slink and bark around us. It’s an audacious tour de force that will leave you reeling with ontological vertigo” –  Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast

“Startlingly fresh … Along with the protagonist I became a tiger, an eagle, a whale. I hunted, flew and swam in this extraordinary book which goes to the heart of what it means to be alive in a shared universe” –  Jane Shemilt, author of Daughter

“A compulsively readable sci-fi thriller … The Many Selves of Katherine North would be an accomplishment from any writer, but the fact that this book comes from a first-time novelist is simply astonishing. Emma Geen has built a vivid and wildly engaging world around an incredibly compelling protagonist, creating a piece of work that transcends genre. No qualifiers are needed; this is a great book, full stop” –  Maine Edge

“[D]izzyingly original” – Maggie Gee, Guardian’s Best Books of 2016

“Flips between past and present, human and creature … Geen’s psychological approach to the empathy and disconnect constantly shedding identities causes in its human protagonist lifts The Many Selves into an engaging take on established tropes” –  Herald

“This is a riveting read. Geen weaves together philosophy and science fiction to create a magical, intelligent and intense novel. This is real philosophy in action” –  Havi Carel, author of Illness


3 thoughts on “The Many Selves of Katherine North

  1. Katharine Lawrence April 7, 2016 — 7:22 pm

    Hi Emma. I work for Ursula Le Guin and have a note from her in response to having received your book. Please email me a good mailing address where I may send it. On a personal note, that grinning fox that you drew makes me hope that you’ll illustrate your own book someday!




  2. Fascinating! This is on my ‘next to read’ list. Currently have received several new novels and need to work my way through those first. I am also currently serially submitting my own first novel where I felt influenced by my studies in anthropology and psychology, which I feel enriches the story, so I look forward to catching up with your work, both to enjoy the read and to see how you’ve woven it all together. Best wishes,
    Roberta 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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