Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Docile” as Want to Read:
Docile
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Docile

by
4.19  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  86 reviews
There is no consent under capitalism

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your
...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Tor.com
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Docile, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Nomadic Reader (Baba Yaga) So let me get this straight: you created a new (private) Goodreads account with the sole purpose of harassing a queer author who wrote a DYSTOPIAN…moreSo let me get this straight: you created a new (private) Goodreads account with the sole purpose of harassing a queer author who wrote a DYSTOPIAN book with sex slavery in it? It's a dystopia for God's sake. Bad things happen. You're not supposed to approve of the sex slavery!

Just out of curiosity: were you also mad at Margaret Atwood because of the sex slavery in The Handmaid's Tale? Did you leave angry comments complaining about the rape scenes in George R.R. Martin's books? Or do you only get mad when unknown debut authors who just so happen to be LGBTQ write about these topics?

The reason Wen Zhao was horribly bullied on this and other websites was precisely that people who hadn't even read her book decided it was "problematic", and proceeded to harass and boycott her until she decided to pull her book from publication. You're now trying to do the exact same thing to another marginalized author.

Long story short: you don't have to read this book. If you're uncomfortable with reading about sexual abuse - and I *totally* understand why that would be the case - just give it a pass. But people have a right to write FICTION about uncomfortable topics. Other people have a right to read it. You want to discuss this book? Great, read it and write your own review. But don't attack the author, or the people who chose to read the book - especially when the author is from a marginalized group that is already struggling to get representation in media. Also: just because a bad thing happens in a book, doesn't mean that the author approves of that thing!

(BTW, I strongly suspect the user who asked this question is using a fake account. But I'm gonna leave my answer here anyway in case someone needs to read it).(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  127 ratings  ·  86 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Docile
Chaima ✨ شيماء
the gay intern at Tor who wrote the following description of the book on Twitter deserves a raise:

"Dramatic Trillionaire Content
BDSM & then some more BDSM & then a lot more BDSM
Hurt/comfort & hurt/no comfort
Cinnamon roll of steel
The most scandalous kink: love
Courtroom drama, bedroom drama, Preakness drama
Debt & Decadence"
Elise (TheBookishActress)
most publishers currently: oh well I guess we can start including lgbtq characters in our books, occasionally, maybe
Tor.com, intellectuals: they’re all gay. they’re all gay and we don’t make the rules
Melanie
Jul 11, 2019 marked it as to-read

ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

"DOCILE is like eating a chocolate and you find half a spider inside but the spider is also your ability to love yourself, an ability you sold to a bad man for some stale bread." - Tamsyn Muir

My most anticipated 2020 release? Perhaps.

Also, Tor.com is so far ahead of every single other publishing house. Good Lord, their power. I'm quaking.

Youtube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
THIS SYNOPSIS. I WANT IT.

"There is no consent under capitalism."

*SCREAMING*
Tucker
May 13, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr
Shelves: reviewed, lgbtqiap
Me: Can I have an ARC?
Publicist #1: No
Me: Okay
Me: *asks another publicist*
***********
It's sci-fi and m/m romance.


MY HEART IS PALPITATING!


| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
Dennis
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dennis by: Tor/Forge
Docile is one of my most anticipated reads for 2020 so thank you Tor Books for this advanced copy. It's safe to say that Docile is one of my favorite reads for the year.

Set in a near-future dystopian world, Maryland, the setting for this story, passes the Next of Kin Law where debt cannot be erased by death or bankruptcy, but passed down for generations. Families crippled by healthcare costs, student loans, and other expenses value up to the millions and the disparity between the rich and
...more
Jenia
Jul 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
Content warning: rape (also from the POV of the rapist), dubious consent, sexual harassment.

Docile is set in near-ish-future Maryland, at a time when people who’ve amassed debt can erase it by selling themselves into (usually temporary) slavery. Most slaves take “Dociline”, a type of drug that makes a person highly obedient and keeps them from forming long-term memories. This way, they don’t have to remember what happened to them. For Elisha Wilder, however, Dociline isn’t an option. His mom had
...more
Charlie Anders
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't call KM Szpara's Docile a dystopia. This book is something much stranger and yet closer to our own reality. Szpara has an amazing gift for immersing us in a world of exploitation and unbearable tenderness, and making it feel familiar and inescapable. Reading Docile changed me and left me with a new awareness of the structures of oppression that surround me. This book is an unforgettable story of human connection and the struggle to remain yourself in a world of debtors and creditors.
Freya Marske
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do you ever find yourself thinking, "Gee, I wish CAPTIVE PRINCE and PRETTY WOMAN would have an alarming baby that they then dressed in pastel button-downs and frat boy glasses"?

WELL THEN

This is a smart, super-readable m/m social-sci-fi romance novel about debt slavery, the complexities of consent, and OUR INEVITABLE CAPITALIST HELLSCAPE. I read my ARC at the speed of light and had a wonderful time.
Liz
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
My general opinion of Docile by K.M. Szpara is that it was fine.

The writing was beyond excellent, lots of delicious word pictures. The indulgent decadence of the upper-class, the fine layers of dust over everything else, the quiet horror of a terrible system, the lush descriptions of this Maryland society. Love that for this book!

Docile wants me to take it seriously, so let me a downer for a few paragraphs.

Perhaps the real lesson of Docile is of tempering expectations. The hype around it,
...more
Emily A. Duncan
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book held me by the throat and punched me in the face and I said thank you very much.
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell
I still have no ARC. :(

---

Who do I have to kidnap to get an early copy?

Jk. But srsly I need dis
...more
Laura
Thank you very much to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

There is no consent under capitalism.

Docile is an unforgettable dystopian novel that draws the uncomfortable reader in, making you feel safe and warm ... before ripping out your heart and while you're crying on the ground, gives you a swift kick on the way out. So yes, I adored it.

It's a phenomenal story that dismantles wildly abusive power structures, while discussing issues
...more
Taylor Brooke
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I READ THIS BOOK IN A DAY. I don't normally do that, pals. Anyway. This is a tough book. It deals with a romance I hated myself for routing for, social and political dynamics that were chilling to recognize as potentially near-future ideals, and it has a cast of incredible Queer characters. The close first person POVs had me turning pages well into the night. This is a gritty, sexy, uncomfortable book with a razor-sharp hook and a hopeful ending.

Get ready to cry. Get ready to scream "ALEX, YOU
...more
☙ percy ❧
Aug 13, 2019 marked it as tbr-unreleased
"There is no consent under capitalism."

szpara and tor are literally not even in the VICINITY of fucking around
Silvia
Jun 17, 2019 marked it as anticipated-2020
Shelves: 2020-march
this sounds gay and all but what drew me in is a quote directly, and I shit you not, taken from the publisher's website:

"The most scandalous kink: love"

WELL count me in
Lauren James
Aug 27, 2019 added it
Shelves: lgbtqia
[Gifted]

DOCILE is a near future sci-fi with the incredible tagline 'There is no consent under capitalism'. It's about people in debt going into service as slaves to billionaires to pay off their debts, taking a medication that makes them docile and subservient for the duration of their slavery. I'm enjoying the book hugely. Though it's not one for younger readers!
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
4.5/5

CW: bad view of BDSM (as in, vaguely consensual), slavery, forced drugging, and forced sex

If I say it once, I'll say it many times. I can't believe that this is Szpara's debut novel. Because, damn. This book was amazing.

It takes place in a futuristic world where debts can now be passed down to children through the generations. To clear these debts, people can become Dociles. Aka, slaves to people who are clearing them of their debts in exchange for years of their life doing whatever they
...more
Ashleigh | Wild Heart Reads
So I have to leave my full review until a little closer to the release date but Docile is phenomenal. It's one of the most nuanced and powerful books on consent and agency I've read.

Because of this it is intense and at times heartbreaking reading what Elisha goes through, so do bear that in mind if you're picking it up.

"You're going to do just fine without me, Elisha Wilder. You're going to be amazing."


TW: dubious consent, discussions of rape and coercion, attempted suicide and mention of
...more
Sana
Jun 13, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
You had me at queer Gossip Girl. Tor.com is a force of nature publisher
mina reads™️
I have the physical arc in my hands and I’m not okay!!!!!! Thank you to the publisher for this arc in exchange for an honest review
Acqua
Jun 13, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: q
- with that premise, it can't be forgettable
- this author wrote one of the best short stories (well, more precisely a novelette, but anyway) I've ever read
- gay

yes I need this book
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
I’ll be honest, I have no idea how to rate this book. I think I need a few days to process things.
Jo Ladzinski
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Read an ARC provided by Tor.com

TW: depictions of rape, dubious consent, sexual harassment, trauma, PTSD, on-page depiction of suicide, suicidal ideation

In a near-future version of the U.S., debt has gotten so bad that people seek relief in the form of becoming Dociles—slaves to the rich in the promise of relieving immense debts. To help them with these terms, Bishop Labs developed Dociline, and it does exactly what you expect, but doesn't wear off when the company says it will. To save his
...more
Madison
This is an incredibly challenging book to review. On the one hand, I couldn't put it down. It pushed the boundaries of what I feel like is acceptable in commercial fiction, and there's a lot of value in that. It contends with really thorny questions of consent and medical ethics and morality.

On the other hand, it vacillates painfully between interesting, meticulous commentary and absolutely cringeworthy Kink 101 sex scenes and tropes straight out of "my mom sold me to One Direction" fanfiction
...more
Leah Rachel von Essen
Docile by K.M. Szpara is one of my favorite reads of the year. In Szpara’s capitalist dystopia, the poor are forced into indentured labor to escape debtor’s prison. Many of them take Dociline, a drug designed not only to make them servile, but also to make them forget their struggle while they’re on it. Elisha signs up to save his family, but is determined not to end up like his mother—a shell of a person after years of being drugged. And so when he becomes contracted to Alex, heir to the ...more
TJ
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Yes, this book has some smutty scenes in it. Yes, most of them explore the idea of “can consent exist under capitalism?” This book made me question myself throughout my entire reading journey, in the best way. /Should/ I enjoy these two characters as a couple? Should I be rooting for them? What is love and consent in this future world? I felt uncomfortable and even disgusted at times, but then I also felt the complete opposite at other times. Szpara’s writing is skillful; my feelings were ...more
Nomadic Reader (Baba Yaga)
Me: I'm really not into slavefic and I also don't tend to go for m/m pairings
Also me: ughh but gays fighting capitalism though
caitlin ✶
May 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Hello could this book possibly be in a similar vein to captive prince by c.s pacat?! Please let the stars align so that this book fills the Capri-sized hole in my heart
Megan ❀
Feb 26, 2019 marked it as tbr-unreleased
Shelves: lgbtqiap-rep
*grabby hands*
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Upright Women Wanted
  • Riot Baby
  • The Monster of Elendhaven
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1)
  • Prosper's Demon
  • Reverie
  • The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
  • Finna
  • Only Mostly Devastated
  • Followers
  • Sisters of the Vast Black
  • The Deep
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology, #1)
  • The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
  • Darling Rose Gold
See similar books…
143 followers
K.M. Szpara is a queer and trans author who lives in Baltimore, MD, with a tiny dog. Kellan's debut alt-/near-future novel, DOCILE (Spring 2020, Tor.com Publishing), explores the snowballing debt crisis, consent, and privilege, and can be described as "really gay". He is the author of "Small Changes Over Long Periods of Time," a Hugo and Nebula nominated novelette about a gay trans man who's ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »