Jake Casella Brookins Reviews Rose/House by Arkady Martine

Rose/House, Arkady Martine (Subterranean 978-1-64524-033-4, $45, 125 pp, hc) March 2023. Cover by David Curtis.

Arkady Martine’s Hugo-winning novels are delightfully huge, sprawling affairs. It’s a different kind of delight to see her approach some of the same themes and influences in a new style, as she does in her latest: the tight and unsettling novella Rose/House. Against the backdrop of the near-future California desert, two small-town detectives ...Read More

Read more

Jake Casella Brookins Reviews A Brief History of Living Forever by Jaroslav Kalfař

A Brief History of Living Forever, Jaroslav Kalfař (Little Brown 978-0-31646-318-8, $28.00, 320pp, hc) March 2023.

‘‘The downsides of living forever’’ is practically a genre unto itself at this point, with all manner of fiction devoted to the philosophical and existential crises likely to crop up when faced with eternal life. And, on a slightly different tack, realistic AI and brain-uploading technologies have their own sets of ethical complications, ...Read More

Read more

Jake Casella Brookins Reviews Feed Them Silence by Lee Mandelo

Feed Them Silence, Lee Mandelo (Tordotcom 978-1-2508-2450-9, $19.99, 112pp, hc) March 2023.

I am a sucker for contact stories – aliens, ani­mals, strange fantasy creatures; that feeling of an encounter with otherness is one of the recurring delights of speculative literature. Tolkien noted it as “one of the primal desires that lie near the heart of Faërie.” But there’s more than enchantment pos­sible with these stories – once we ...Read More

Read more

Jake Casella Brookins Reviews Extended Stay by Juan Martinez

Extended Stay, Juan Martinez (University of Ari­zona Press 978-0-81654-797-5, $19.95, 320pp, tp) January 2023. Cover by Leigh McDonald.

I don’t know if “refreshing” is quite the right word to use for a book this horrifying, but it’s fascinating to see well-worn horror tropes re­mixed and reinvigorated this well. Juan Martinez’s Extended Stay is an excellent and unsettling riff on the haunted house – a genre that seems to be ...Read More

Read more

Jake Casella Brookins Reviews The Two Doctors Górski by Isaac Fellman

The Two Doctors Górski, Isaac Fellman (Tor­dotcom 978-1-25084-093-6, $16.99, 176pp, tp) November 2022.

It’s trite but true to say that reading is a kind of magic. Likewise, that it’s a kind of mind read­ing, and that writing characters is a fraught kind of creation. Isaac Fellman’s debut novella is a sharply-focused picture of the dangers these kinds of magic: an acerbic and atmospheric tale of power abused and survived. ...Read More

Read more

Jake Casella Brookins Reviews Titan by Mado Nozaki

Titan, Mado Nozaki (Airship 978-1-68579-318-0, $14.99, 496pp, tp) October 2022.

In Mado Nozaki’s Titan (translated by Evan Ward), humans of the 23rd century have it pretty easy – a life of fully automated luxury, all facili­tated by omnipresent, omnibenevolent AI. All of that is threatened when one node of the Titan network – Coeus – begins to suffer mysterious problems, and Seika Naisho, an average citizen who studies psychology ...Read More

Read more