This Post Couldn’t Wait: The Seep

I know this post is coming at you in the middle of a hiatus, but bear with me, it’s exciting.

So, I was browsing Edelweiss+ on this Friday night in and, as usual, I check out the LGBT+ review copies first. Of the 3,913 DRCs available for request or download as I write this, there are 6 in that category (which is heinous, but I won’t dwell on that for this post).

But anyways, 6. That’s one more than yesterday, so yay! So, among the titles I’ve been seeing on repeat for weeks, what’s new? The Seep by Chana Porter.

45448133“A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity calling itself The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seep-tech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina chases after a young boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind.”

When I say my heart was palpitating as I read this description, that was no exaggeration. Queer representation in this sort of genre-bending speculative fiction is extremely rare – all that I’ve seen recently amounts to a couple short stories in the first volume of Today, Tomorrow, Always (review here). So, if it wasn’t readily apparent, I’m insanely excited about this book and you can count on me chatting about it for the rest of this year.

The Seep will be released on January 21, 2020. It’s a long way off, but you can always save time later by adding it to your Goodreads TBR now!  Continue reading “This Post Couldn’t Wait: The Seep”

Advance Review: The Time Collector

★★★☆☆41711272

I have such mixed feelings about this book. I loved the premise and I wanted to love the story, but it wasn’t meant to be.

The Time Collector focuses on a group of gifted individuals known as psychometrists. Psychometrists range in their strength, but all share the ability to discern the past of objects the touch. Our male protagonist, Roan West, is one of the most powerful psychometrists among their small numbers. Roan has become increasingly worried with the disappearances of several psychometrists across the globe, including one of his closest friends. Then arises the problem of Melicent Tilpin.

Melicent is a young woman scraping by as she tries to balance work and raising her teenage brother following their mother’s recent death. She’s also a psychometrist whose powers have newly awakened. After peering into the past of objects found at flea markets and antique swaps, Melicent find herself on Antiques Roadshow where her items are appraised for tens of thousands of dollars and she’s admitted her gift to the world. Upon seeing the video Roan rushes across the country to warn Melicent, hoping she’ll listen.

The greatest triumph of The Time Collector is Gwendolyn Womack’s skill as a writer. This book touches on phenomena like out-of-place artifacts (OOPArts), crop circles, and more as Womack spins a tale that spans all of Earth’s breadth and history. I went in with very little foreknowledge of many of the phenomena she describes, but I never found myself lost in the explanations – the world she creates is easy to slip in to and enjoy. Some of the chapters that I enjoyed most were those where as a character reads an imprint, you are transported back in time. From 18th century Vienna to South Korea on the cusp of The Forgotten War, these periods are captured with incredible realism that drew me in despite their intrusion into the main plot.

So here’s the caveat of all this: I just didn’t like the romantic aspect. I was pulled in by the tension between Melicent and Roan through the first half of their story, but once the romantic tension was dissipated everything seemed to lose momentum. I’m also seldom a fan of stories where two characters are fully in love in a matter of just days. I tried to see past it because there was so much else that I enjoyed, but it ultimately left me feeling a little disappointed as I finished this book. I’m certain The Time Collector will be the perfect read for many people, just not me. Continue reading “Advance Review: The Time Collector”

Advance Review: Today, Tomorrow, Always (Vol. 1)

★★★☆☆44651182

Today, Tomorrow, Always is an anthology of varied short stories. This is this first volume of what will be a continuing series of anthologies showcasing what was billed as “a literary-sci fi-speculative fiction mashup at its finest.” So of course I had to pick this up, right?

All of the stories in this anthology were, at the very least, good. Some were too brief for me, some I couldn’t connect with. The rating for Today, Tomorrow, Always is essentially an average of all the stories contained within it. That being said, the ones that I loved were really brilliant.

Multilinear Memories by Gwen Tolios is one of those hypnotic stories that blurs the timeline of events and possibly the boundary of what is real and what isn’t. I don’t often love ambiguity in stories like this, but Multilinear Memories manages this feat beautifully.

Egg Toast by Elise Thi Tran is both brutal and lovely. Wren Sun-Lee confessed to her long-time boyfriend that she was raped several years ago and boards a train to her attacker’s house, picking up a carton of eggs along the way.

Skylight by Avra Margariti was so charming, I absolutely loved it. A young man discovers that the imaginary boy that he played with as a child was real and slowly befriends the man he spent years believing existed only in his head.

If the description has piqued your interest, it is definitely worth picking it up, but I can’t strongly recommend this for those who aren’t fans of this sort of multi-genre mashup.   Continue reading “Advance Review: Today, Tomorrow, Always (Vol. 1)”

Advance Review: Safely Endangered

★★★★★ 42954198

As a long time fan of Chris McCoy’s comics, and I’m thrilled to have received an advance copy of his first collection, Safely Endangered.

This collection of comics includes some of the greatest hits from McCoy’s webcomic of the same name, alongside comics that are exclusive to this collection. As some reviewers have already voiced, the humor isn’t for everyone. Count me out of this group. These comics are witty, twisted, a little dark, but unfailingly hilarious. McCoy is a master of his medium and his debut collection is not to be missed. Continue reading “Advance Review: Safely Endangered”

Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer

★★★★★38819868

I’ve read some really kick-ass debuts lately. The Incendiaries was beautiful, Eight Lives was absolutely stellar, and My Sister, the Serial Killer knocked it out of the park.

If you’ve heard about this book, you’ve probably heard it described as “dark” and “funny” a hundred times. Well, it couldn’t be more accurate. Oyinkan Braithwaite has written one of the most twisted, delightful books I’ve read in a long time.

There’s no point in mincing words- Korede’s sister is a serial killer. Two of Ayoola’s previous boyfriends have died while with her, and when her most recent boyfriend turns up dead with a knife wound in his chest, Korede is summoned once again to clean up her sister’s mess. My Sister, the Serial Killer hooks you from the first page and refuses to let go. I think I pried myself away only twice, so I could sleep. The relationships in this book were truly fascinating and I was stuck by how real each character felt- their choices made me cringe, laugh, and shudder as I read on. This is both a brilliant thriller and a witty take on how far one will go in the name of loyalty. Continue reading “Review: My Sister, the Serial Killer”