A genre-bending speculative look at a dark future, Valid shares the story of one trans woman leading a revolution.
This is a mutiny.
If our mutiny is to succeed, I must name things well, without diversion. Lacking this, you will not deviate from your certainties.
Here it is: I am trans.
As in transgression. I have broken genres. I have removed myself from the rules.
I am trans.
As in translation. I have dragged the elements that make up my person from one state to another. My geometry is variable.
And tonight, I am a revolution.
/warning: code red… fetch-query protocol enabled… transmission failed… standby/
Set in a disturbingly transfigured Montreal in the year 2050, Valid is a monologue delivered over the span of eight hours by Christelle, a seventy-year-old trans woman forced to live as a man in order to survive. Speaking to her captor, an ever–more powerful AI, she turns the tables and mounts her own revolution by showing her truest self. Part autofiction, part dystopic speculation on an all-too-possible future characterized by corporate power, ecological collapse, and political havoc, Valid is an ambitious work that is as much philosophical as it is confessional.
About the authors
CHRIS BERGERON is diverse and fluid: after beginning a career in journalism and eventually winding up at the helm of the weekly cultural magazine Voir, she now dedicates her artistic vitality to Cossette, a leading global marketing agency. She offers speaking engagements on leadership, diversity, inclusion, and trans rights. Chris lives in Montreal.
NATALIA HERO is a Montreal-based writer and literary translator. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish literature from Concordia University and an M.A. in literary translation from the University of Ottawa. You can read her short fiction in places like Peach Mag, Shabby Doll House, Cosmonauts Avenue, and The Temz Review. She translates works from French and Spanish into English. Her debut novella, Hum, was published in 2018 by Metatron Press.
A superb and moving novel. Valid is an inventive and didactic, esoteric and activist novel, which uses literature as a key to open up imaginations, activate empathy, and disarm preconceived ideas.
Quebec literature is fascinating, and Chris Bergeron confirms this with Valid, a delightful identity thriller.
Valid is a brutal dystopian novel about what can happen when prejudice, fear, and complacency take the place of compassion, acceptance, and action.
Foreword, STARRED REVIEW
Valid draws a canny portrait of one very real trans woman in a world full of compromise, punctuated by energizing moments of corporate-algorithm-busting truth.
Montreal Review of Books
An autobiographical science fiction novel with a dystopian flavor, a hybrid object both unusual and powerful.
Chris Bergeron signs a novel full of sensitivity about the life of a transgender woman in a dystopian world that is not so unimaginable ... It is captivating, intelligent, and necessary.
Brimming with references to popular culture, from Star Wars to Black Mirror, and including Sylvie Vartan and Cirque du Soleil, and benefiting from an enlightened view of society and a formidable sense of expression, Valid transports us about thirty years into the future … While [her] first novel offers a fine philosophical reflection on society, Chris Bergeron considers it more as a cry from the heart.
In this intelligent and rather audacious ‘autobiographical science fiction novel,’ which pushes many boundaries and preconceptions, Chris Bergeron sensitively portrays the delicate journey of a transgender woman who tries to assert her ‘validity’ in a highly formatted universe, a dystopian world plagued by health and ecological crises that are all too easy to imagine. Canada has given us a queen of SF: Margaret Atwood. Chris Bergeron does not need to shy away from the comparison.
From self-confessions to confessions to the machine, a revolution is underway … An identity thriller written with brilliance and finesse.
This novel is so utterly unique that it is difficult to find many comparison points. Due to its highly theoretical and philosophical nature, Valid will undoubtedly find its way into many a college syllabus. However, anyone interested in queer history, theory, the evolution of feminism, and the dangers of AI will find something of interest in this novel and it is accessible and interesting enough that it could very well find a wider audience as well.
West Trade Review
A gripping identity thriller where autofiction meets science fiction … With her sharp vision, [Bergeron] imagined this dystopia set in 2045, which is chillingly realistic.