My Brother the Messiah

By Martin Vopenka

Category: Fiction, SciFi, Translation

Formats available: Paperback, Ebook

Pages: 257

Publication date: 11/02/21

ISBN-13: 9781909954472

ISBN-10: 1909954470

It’s 2103 and Earth is baking. Scientists attempt to cool down the planet. With the coming of rain, a messiah is born.


Eli is a technophobe haunted by premonitions of what will come. His strange magnetism draws many to his cause. For his brother Marek, Eli has always been a messiah. After his short and powerful life, Eli’s most haunting prediction comes to pass: children stop being born.

Thirty-five years later, only The Followers of Eli bear children. Marek leads his commune under the glare of the entire world, and recounts Eli’s story to his lover, Natalia. When she is snatched from him, Marek suspects both the followers and outside forces are to blame. Lessons from Marek’s past and revelations from his present inspire one final journey in his brother’s footsteps.

My Brother the Messiah explores spirituality in the twilight of human civilization and presents a dark, vivid future of our world.

Translated from the Czech by Anna Bryson Gustova.


'Vopenka’s My Brother the Messiah, brilliantly translated by Anna Bryson Gustova... offers a thoughtful critique of our dying world, yet it rewards us with a glimmer of hope of the world that can begin anew.'

- Kate Tsurkan - apofenie

'Well worth your time. Vopenka tells a dystopian tale about hope amid chaos, and about the drawbacks, and the consolations, of faith.'

- James Lovegrove - The Financial Times

'Vopenka creates a dynamic and vivid account of societies in complete free-fall ... chillingly beautiful in its descriptive violence. This is an Acts of the Apostles for a post-Christian Europe,...Yet the author is not a Czech Nikos Kazantzakis imposing wholesale an aged scriptural drama onto a current or future society. The book’s ending proves that conclusively. It is satisfyingly uncertain and unexpected: troubling and problematic certainly, but also with a candle’s flicker of warm comfort.'

- Paul Simon - Morning Star

'Weaves a gloomy, gripping, spiritual spell all of its own.'

- Simon Ings - The Times, Science Fiction Book of the Month

'Vopenka's voice is Czech yet global and his prose compelling.'

- Judith Herman, Jewish Renaissance

My Brother the Messiah presents a nightmarish vision of a future where human selfishness has all but destroyed the Earth, and the only apparent hope is either in religion or science. Czech author Martin Vopenka tackles complex contemporary issues in his writing. My Brother the Messiah is no exception—a quietly profound story that moves slowly at a deliberate pace and stays compelling. It presents a subtle and provocative meditation on the nature of faith and hope in the face of despair and chaos.

- Tessa Chudy - Aurealis

‘Rivals Orwell’s 1984’ Digitimes

- Digitimes

‘Rivals Orwell’s 1984’

- Digitimes

Vopěnka has yet again produced a book that explores many pressing issues of the near future. Highly readable, beautiful and terrifying at the same time, it presents to us a future that may not be as distant as it may seem at first sight.”

- iLiteratura - Eliška Prokopová

‘An insider's guide to the world after the apocalypse.’

- Jaroslav Totusek, Lidovky

Vopěnka has yet again produced a book that explores many pressing issues of the near future. Highly readable, beautiful and terrifying at the same time, it presents to us a future that may not be as distant as it may seem at first sight.”

- Eliška Prokopová, iLiteratura

Martin Vopenka

The Jewish-Czech author Martin Vopěnka is one of the leading voices in world literature, writing with ‘with a deft and compellingly simple control of sentences that is reminiscent of both Kafka and Kundera’ – Choice. “Martin Vopenka is one of my favourite Czech writers because, like Milan Kundera, he is beyond geography. You can’t find one anecdote or joke in his works; he is not boasting about his sense of humour. He is a modern writer for people under forty who have realized that real life is elsewhere. His writings …

Related News & Articles

Martin Vopenka vs Cory Doctorow and Kim Stanley Robinson

We’re proud to share that the British Science Fiction Association took on My Brother the Messiah, Martin Vopenka’s provocative sci-fi that combines technology, religion and human nature itself. It’s a stellar review that you can read in full here I was most struck by Matt Colborn’s comparisons of Vopenka and …

New Vopenka is the ‘Science Fiction Book of the Month’ – The Times

The Times crowns a great launch week for Martin Vopenka, making his MY BROTHER THE MESSIAH their Science Fiction Book of the Month. This is a HARD book to grapple with in a short piece, but we’re impressed how well reviewers have taken to the task. Simon Ings grapples with …

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