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“Captivating… like a literary Rubik’s cube”
— Nisi Shawl

“A considerable achievement… powerful
and elegant… morally complex and challenging.” — David Huddle

The darkly fantastic story of the secret history behind the World Trade Center, Tian-ah-menSquare, and the CIA’s misadventures in Vietnam. The story begins in the horrific aftermath of 9-11, and loops through the history of one man’s dangerous collaborations with powers he barely understands, and can never hold in check.

Peter Fisher becomes a homeless vet after one last disastrous Iraq mission, but over the next ten years, he’s irrevocably led back to the truth of the War on Terror and Guantanamo, and what his dangerous knowledge created.

Now he will undertake one last journey to the desert — to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, where he will confront the consequences of his own horrific mistakes.


“Like a literary Rubik’s Cube, puzzling and full of compellingly offbeat traps and escapes, Wilderness of Mirrors depicts a wide, strange world in which modern nations compete to harness and weaponize monsters, enslaving malevolent spirits using arcane mathematics and the death tolls of bloody wars. Ned Hayes writes with stunning empathy of a truly global cast of characters – an Arab professor of linguistics, and an aging female Chinese intelligence officer – who stumble through a landscape of political expedients toward a tempting yet horrific reality. Captivating.”

– Nisi Shawl,
Nebula-nominated author of Everfair

“A considerable achievement… powerful and elegant… morally complex and challenging. Wilderness of Mirrors is about the events of 9-11 and the War on Terror, but of course it’s also generally about many other topics… the novel provides a scathing critique of the CIA and the NSA and their roles in moving the country toward the precarious place it now occupies in international affairs.”

– David Huddle,
former military intelligence specialist and award-winning author of over 20 books including The Story of a Million Years and My Immaculate Assassin