Michael Grothaus is a novelist and author. His writing has appeared in Fast Company, The Chicago Tribune, VICE, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Litro Magazine, The Irish Times, Screen, Quartz, and more. His latest novel is BEAUTIFUL SHINING PEOPLE, a speculative coming-of-age story set in Tokyo that explores how the things that cast us as outsiders can be the very things that draw us together, and examines whether there is an inherent meaning in the world to come, or if we must create our own.
His debut novel, EPIPHANY JONES, a story about sex trafficking among the Hollywood elite, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award and named one of the 25 “Most Irresistible Hollywood Novels” by Entertainment Weekly. His first non-fiction book is TRUST NO ONE: INSIDE THE WORLD OF DEEPFAKES, published by Hodder & Stoughton. The book examines the human impact that artificially generated video will have on individuals and society in the years to come.
Beautiful Shining People
It’s our world, but decades into the future. It’s an ordinary world, one where cars drive themselves, drones glide across the sky, and robots work in hamburger shops. There are two superpowers and a digital Cold War, but all conflicts are safely oceans away. People get up, work, and have dinner. Everything is as it should be…
Except for seventeen-year-old John, a tech prodigy from a damaged family, who hides a deeply personal secret. But everything starts to change for him when he enters a tiny café on a cold Tokyo night. A café run by a disgraced
sumo wrestler, where a peculiar dog with a spherical head lives, alongside its owner, enigmatic waitress Neotnia...
But Neotnia hides a secret of her own — a secret that will turn John's unhappy life upside down. A secret that will take them from the neon streets of Tokyo to Hiroshima's tragic past to the snowy mountains of Nagano.
A secret that reveals, this world? It’s anything but ordinary — and it’s about to change forever.
BEAUTIFUL SHINING PEOPLE is an emotional genre-blending work of upmarket speculative fiction. It explores how the things that cast us as outsiders can be the very things that draw us together, and examines whether there is an inherent meaning in the world to come, or if we must create our own.
"Poetically written, every word of this adventure leaps off the page with passion."
Midwest Book Review
truly breathtaking and achingly beautiful."
A man with a consuming addiction. A woman who talks to God. And the secret connection that could destroy them both.
Jerry has a traumatic past that leaves him subject to psychotic hallucinations and depressive episodes. When he stands accused of stealing a priceless Van Gogh painting, he goes underground, where he develops an unwilling relationship with a woman who believes that the voices she hears are from God.
Involuntarily entangled in the illicit world of sex trafficking amongst the Hollywood elite, and on a mission to find redemption for a haunting series of events from the past, Jerry is thrust into a genuinely shocking and outrageously funny quest to uncover the truth and atone for historical sins.
A complex, page-turning psychological thriller, riddled with twists and turns, EPIPHANY JONES is also a superb dark comedy with a powerful emotional core. You'll laugh when you know you shouldn't, be moved when you least expect it and, most importantly, never look at Hollywood, celebrity or sex in the same way again.
"One of the 25 Most Irresistible Hollywood Novels"
"Complex, inventive, and a genuine shocker, this is the very opposite of a ‘comfort’ read."
The New York Daily News
"Engrossing…a captivating story that manages to be funny, sinister and surprising."
Trust No One:
Inside the World
Deepfake technology can create video evidence of just about anything:
Hollywood superstar Margot Robbie in an orgy.
Chinese President Xi Jinping declaring nuclear war.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan winning the World Cup.
The only limit is the imagination.
In a time where fake news and disinformation are becoming harder and harder to identify, it is more essential than ever to understand the dark origins of deepfakes.
Journalist Michael Grothaus goes down the rabbit hole as he interviews the often morally dubious, yet incredibly skilled creators of this content. It’s a journey that opens a window into the communities transforming reality.
Challenging, enlightening, and terrifying, TRUST NO ONE asks the question other people are too scared to: what happens when you can no longer believe your own eyes?
Mail on Sunday
"Thought-provoking . . . he interviews some shady characters and raises interesting questions"
The Sunday Times
"An alarming look at deepfakes."
"Our fascination with deepfakes strikes me as the latest iteration of this emotional rollercoaster, and it's one Grothaus captures very well."
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