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Exit Velocity

A working-class hero fighting for her life.

A parrot on a mission from another planet.

Political fiction fuses with science fiction.


Arrives June 4, 2024


Rowan Pickett's world has gone to hell, her sister murdered in a high school shooting, her mother leaving, and Rowan sitting home and mourning. But then reality kicks in: Rowan realizes that she wants to survive, and in order to survive she needs a job. This leads her to Titus Longshaw, Black leader of the socialist organization Working Class Control. Titus points Rowan to a job at Package Nova, a global shipping firm on Chicago's south side.


From there things move at the pace of a million packages whizzing by on conveyer belts. The foreman has it in for Rowan because she speaks out against sexism. Worse yet, Zeb Snoddy, proclaimed white-supremacist, also has it in for Rowan because of her politics. One dark night Snoddy confronts Rowan and her best friend, Keisha Longshaw.


Jake Terranova, a podcaster from Boston, starts out thinking that Rowan has a parrot she has trained to assault (and maybe assassinate?) Zeb Snoddy. And then he suspects the unthinkable — that the parrot Deeply is from another planet.


The paths of Rowan, Keisha, Titus, Jake, and Deeply intersect where and when it matters most: as Rowan and Working Class Control lead demonstrations in front of the Package Nova headquarters.


Like the striking workers of the UAW and UPS, like the workers at Amazon and Starbucks, Exit Velocity inspires the working class to embrace the possibility of social change. Rowan Pickett is a young working class woman caught in the vortex of the present, fighting for the possibilities of the future. Buy Now.



Three Main Characters, Video

Crochet in Exit Velocity, Video



Exit Velocity is a tale for these times - part fantasy, part political-social analysis of why we're in a boat about to go over the falls. It's also a love story. Love between good friends, between parent and child, between lovers, and best of all, love of a great parrot who wants to help us save ourselves. If you love Octavia Butler, you'll enjoy Exit Velocity. — Sara Paretksy, author of the V.I. Warshawski novels, recipient of the Golden Dagger, Anthony, and Cartier Diamond Dagger Awards



Exit Velocity is a multifaceted and astounding gem of a political novel, gripping and richly imagined. From the first page, Barbara Gregorich takes the reader on a captivating ride into the world of present-day Chicago left-wing activism and working-class life.  With an unsettling brood of characters, the action rarely lets up as the personal and social are seamlessly tied. — Alan Wald, H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, author of Writing from the Left: New Essays on Radical Culture and Politics 



Gregorich injects just enough SF whimsy into a very relevant modern-day plot to make the story truly memorable. . . . Rowan's newfound sense of justice — and her harsh discovery of the lengths that are sometimes necessary to achieve it — will likely stir readers as they reach the inventive novel's conclusion.

A creative exploration of human rights, grief, and self-discovery in the face of opposition. — Kirkus Reviews



The characters are complex and relatable, each struggling with their internal conflicts and external pressures. Rowan's resilience in the face of grief and unemployment, Jake's moral dilemma regarding his interview with Rowan, and Deeply's mysterious mission on Earth all contribute to the depth of the story. The parrot (Deeply) adds intrigue and suspense, keeping readers engaged and curious about its significance. Its involvement in pivotal scenes heightens tension and unpredictability, enhancing the overall story. The discussion of societal justice is of paramount importance as it reflects the real-world issues and challenges faced by many individuals today. From gun control to economic inequality, the characters grapple with complex social issues that resonate with readers on a personal and emotional level. Themes such as loss, self-discovery, and ethical duty are intricately intertwined, evoking deep reflection and emotional connection. Exit Velocity is a captivating narrative that showcases bravery and resilience amid life's challenges. Ultimately, readers will find themselves deeply moved and inspired by its powerful message of hope, making it a genuinely compelling and impactful story. It is highly recommended. —  Manik Chaturmutha, Readers' Favorite



The author keeps the plot moving at an even pace, using a multi-POV narrative that gives readers a view into the psyche of the three main characters. You can't help but sympathize with Rowan and root for her to win her battles. While I enjoyed the dynamic between Rowan and Jake, I absolutely adored Deeply (DeePlea) the parrot. If you're a science fiction fan who loves stories that mirror real-world issues, this will be right up your alley. — Pikasho Deka, Readers' Favorite