Night Roll by Michael J. DeLuca


An award-nominated novella about motherhood, caring for the future, and a resurgent city’s links to the past.

Finalist for The IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award

Night Roll is the most Detroit story I have read … [it] brings home a lot of things that are wonderful about that city: the incredible diversity, the community-mindedness, and the quirky culture that has arisen out of the ashes of the post-industrial city.” — Locus Magazine

“A hypnotic near-future novella that will captivate literary and genre readers alike.” — Publishers Weekly

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About the Book

New mother and climate refugee Aileen Dupree has been abandoned by her partner in post-industrial Detroit. Her neighbor, Virgil, comes to her rescue, bringing useful cast-offs and much needed friendship. Virgil is Aileen’s only connection to the outside world, a refuge for an insomniac newcomer who is overwhelmed by the turn her life has taken. But then Virgil borrows Aileen’s prized possession — a chrome and leather, royal blue fourteen-speed bike — and disappears. Aileen doesn’t know if Virgil’s disappearance is an accident or another abandonment.

When she ventures out to look for answers, Aileen hears strange stories of the Elf, a timeless being that has always fought the colonizers and capitalists of Detroit, and now leads the Night Roll on a frantic race through the city’s disintegrating streets. It is up to Aileen to bring Virgil back to his friends and family. But what can the Elf teach her about her new life? And what must she pay for that knowledge?

About the Author

Michael J. DeLuca’s short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex, Mythic Delirium, and lots of other places. He is the publisher of Reckoning, a journal of creative writing on environmental justice. You can find DeLuca on Twitter @MichaelJDeLuca. and at The Mossy Skull.

Learn More
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Additional information

Book Format


Page count

91 pp.


9781777091729 (trade), 9781777091736 (ebook)

Publication Date

October 15, 2020


fantasy, climate fiction, novella


climate change, urban life, motherhood, folklore, bicycles

Cover Art and Design

Anne Middleton


IAFA William L. Crawford Fantasy Award (Finalist)


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