Sharon Solwitz, “Once, in Lourdes” (Spiegel & Grau, 2017)
Sharon Solwitz‘s novel, Once, in Lourdes (Spiegel & Grau, 2017), is the story of four close friends in the fictional town of Lourdes, Michigan, who decide, during the summer before their senior year of high school, to make a suicide pact. The four friends are all struggling with something beyond... Read More
Martha Wells, “Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries” (Tor, 2018)
The “artificial” in artificial intelligence is easy to understand. But the meaning of “intelligence” is harder to define. How smart can an A.I. get? Can it teach itself, change its programming, become independent? Can it outfox its human inventors, be guided by self-interest, have feelings? While companies like Google and... Read More
Julia Fine, “What Should be Wild” (Harper, 2018)
“What should be wild” is really asking who should be wild? Simultaneously a plea against the domestication of women, a unique fairy tale, and impressive literary fiction, this novel explores the taming of women through the experiences of the modern Maisie and some of her female ancestors, who sought shelter... Read More
Sam J. Miller, “Blackfish City” (Ecco, 2018)
Sam J. Miller loves cities. He lives in one, has a day job dedicated to making urban life more humane and fair, and has set his new novel, Blackfish City (Ecco, 2018), in a teeming metropolis full of people who are grateful to be there. The fictional metropolis is Qaanaak, which... Read More
Robert Goolrick, “The Dying of the Light” (Harper, 2018)
“It begins with a house and it ends in ashes.” So opens Robert Goolrick’s rich, lyrical new novel, The Dying of the Light (Harper, 2018). The house is Saratoga, a colonial-era estate in Virginia that is at once a joy and a burden to the family that lives there, the... Read More
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