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Released 1st September 2021

by Venetia Welby

'So, where is he then, your dad?'

The world may be on a precipice but Sol, fresh from Tucson-desert rehab, finally has an answer to the question that has dogged her since childhood. And not a moment too soon. With aviation grinding to a halt in the face of global climate meltdown, this is the last chance to connect with her absentee father, a US marine stationed in Okinawa.

To mend their broken past Sol and her lovelorn friend Kit must journey across poisoned oceans to the furthest reaches of the Japanese archipelago, a place where sea, sky and earth converge at the forefront of an encroaching environmental and geopolitical catastrophe; a place battered by the relentless tides of history, haunted by the ghosts of its past, where the real and the virtual, the dreamed and the lived, are ever harder to define.

In Dreamtime Venetia Welby paints a terrifying and captivating vision of our near future and takes us on a vertiginous odyssey into the unknown.


‘Venetia Welby has written an extraordinary and haunting novel, a dystopian vision of the not too far distant future with a dash of ancient Japanese magic thrown in. Beautifully written, thoroughly researched and frighteningly believable, it’s a love story for our times and a dire warning, dark, angry, seductive, enthralling.’ —Lesley Downer

‘Intense, strange and fast-paced … Venetia Welby writes with verve and energy and takes us to places we never expected to go.’ —Sally Emerson

‘A rich, surreal and dreamy exploration of a woman's quest to find her father, blended with an imaginative vision of a world wrecked by climate change, Dreamtime is filled with lovely sentences that made me jump at their beauty and strangeness. It's also a fascinating exploration of the folklore and history of the island of Okinawa.’ —Sam Mills

‘Brilliantly complex, emotional, and frightening … The crazy, raw descriptions of Japan are just miraculously beautiful at times.’ —Dragonfly


Fiction to look out for in 2021 A host of dazzling second novels in the offing … Venetia Welby’s exquisite and hallucinogenic Dreamtime is set in a near future in which we have lost the battle against climate change.’ —Alex Preston, The Observer