Review: The Girl With All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey

9780316278157>>Published: June 2014

>>Finally got around to it: January 2015

After Sergeant says “Transit”, Melanie gets dressed, quickly, in the white shift that hangs on the hook next to her door, a pair of white trousers from the receptacle in the wall, and the white pumps lined up under her bed. Then she sits down in the wheelchair at the foot of her bed, like she’s been taught to do. She puts her hands on the arms of the chair and her feet on the footrests. She closes her eyes and waits. She counts while she waits. The highest she’s ever had to count is two thousand five hundred and twenty-six; the lowest is one thousand nine hundred and one.

When the key turns in the door, she stops counting and opens her eyes. Sergeant comes in with his gun and points it at her. Then two of Sergeant’s people come in and tighten and buckle the straps of the chair around Melanie’s wrists and ankles. There’s also a strap for her neck; they tighten that one last of all, when her hands and feet are fastened up all the way, and they always do it from behind. The strap is designed so they never have to put their hands in front of Melanie’s face. Melanie sometimes says, “I won’t bite.” She says it as a joke, but Sergeant’s people never laugh. Sergeant did once, the first time she said it, bit it was a nasty laugh. And then he said, “Like we’d ever give you the chance, sugar plum.”

***

M. R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts presents something a little different—a zombie apocalypse with actual hope for the future.

It might seem like a small thing, but really it’s not. Sure, lots of zombie narratives are centred around finding a cure for the disease (whatever its cause), or getting a small, ragtag group of people to safety so that the human race can start again. But those are temporary sorts of hope—they ignore many of the realities associated with having a world nearly, if not completely overrun by the living dead.

Carey’s hope, however, comes not from conquering the great evil or finding an all-powerful panacea, but in adaptation and evolution.

The novel picks up twenty years after “the Breakdown.” A mutated fungal spore, Ophiocoryceps, has wiped out much of the population, replacing what were once living, breathing, free-thinking humans with “hungries,” a type of zombie more closely resembling the fungus-sprouting undead analogues found in the video game The Last of Us. (Incidentally, the infected in The Last of Us are also as a result of coryceps, and share many similar traits and idiosyncrasies with the not-so-shambling hungries of this novel.)

At a military base called Hotel Echo, thirty miles north of London, a young woman named Helen Justineau, a developmental psychologist masquerading as a teacher, instructs a small class of children—girls and boys, all around the age of ten. Among these is a girl named Melanie, who’s very interested in Greek mythology, and in Miss Justineau, whom she looks up to. Melanie, like the others in her class, is a hungry—but not just any type of hungry; she’s a “high-functioning” hungry, capable of cognition, emotional attachment, and self-awareness.

But the children’s education is merely part of a larger experiment to better understand the hungries, particularly the more advanced ones, in hopes of finding that aforementioned panacea. Spearheading this research is Caroline Caldwell. Caldwell is Justineau’s polar opposite—a seemingly emotionless “ends justify the means” type, who she sees the children not as they are but as stepping stones to something greater, something with the potential to save them all.

Positioned between the ethical extremes of both Justineau and Caldwell is Sergeant Parks, a career military sort who oversees security at the base, including safe transport of the hungries from their cells to their classrooms. Parks is perhaps the most interesting character in the book, aside from Melanie herself. Though he begins as a sort of gruff, necessary evil, he grows in unexpected ways, and as a result exhibits a great deal more personality and depth of character than either Justineau or Caldwell, who are both rather dogmatic in their perspectives (not without their reasons, but still).

The story at the heart of The Girl With All the Gifts is not that of the hungries currently taking over the world, or even the junkers—humans still alive on the outside, scavenging for survival Mad Max-style—that kill and take what they want. It’s very much about the ethical debate between Justineau, who views the children—Melanie most of all—as innocent victims worthy of survival, and Caldwell, who sees them as specimens dominated by an infectious fungus and primed for dissection. As she at one point tells Justineau, “When you walk into that classroom, you think you’re talking to children. But you’re not, Helen. You’re talking to the thing that killed the children.

When one day both junkers and hungries manage to overrun the compound, Justineau, Caldwell, Parks, and Melanie (along with a very “green” soldier who more or less exists to be future cannon fodder) escape and are forced to work together as they make for Beacon some distance away, where it’s hoped they will find safety or some form of salvation. And with Justineau and Caldwell on different ends of the spectrum, and Parks vacillating between the two, Melanie, the titular Pandora, is relied upon to help guide them through a number of life-threatening situations.

Were it not for Melanie, there would be little to differentiate The Girl With All the Gifts from other zombie-style narratives. She is the fulcrum around which the ethical debates swing. Though at first she seems like little more than an overly astute child occasionally requiring Hannibal Lecter-type restraints, Melanie’s growth, as she becomes aware of what’s happened to the world as well as her place in it, exhibits the hope on which Carey’s entire narrative hinges.

Because there is no cure—not really. There’s no hope for humanity’s salvation. Melanie, like the other high-functioning hungries in her class, is not the anomaly she is first presented as; rather she is an evolution of the disease responsible for wiping out most of humanity. The high-functioning hungries represent balance in nature—the idea that what’s meant to prevail or break free will, and that there may be no stopping it. (If Jurassic Park taught us anything, it’s that life will find a way.) Caldwell, in this sense, represents a disease of a different sort, clinging not to a healthy host but an evolving host that no longer requires it. The hope in this novel isn’t that humanity will prevail, but that the definition of humanity will change. And while there will be blood shed along the way, eventually equilibrium will be reached.

On a technical level, the book is a fast-paced, energetic read, with short chapters punctuated by a hefty balance of action and mystery. Additionally, alternating voices and styles of writing keep the narrative feeling fresh, which is essential when Caldwell and Justineau continually slump back into their respective arguments, which I feel were hammered home a bit too much.

To that note, my investment in the narrative faltered a bit once they arrived at Rosie the roving lab. It’s at this point that Parks is revealed as the more even keeled amongst the group—he sees Melanie more for what she is than what he assumed her to be, and grows to trust her. Meanwhile, Justineau becomes as single-minded as Caldwell, and as a result turns inward and exhibits a selfishness that not only jeopardizes them all, but is also borderline abusive to Melanie. She ignores Melanie’s own pleas to be left alone, as the young hungry is being driven mad by Justineau’s scent but must restrain herself from devouring her teacher and friend. Justineau’s guilt over past indiscretions eventually overrides her ability to see what’s right; she claims to care for Melanie, but is really so focused on assuaging her own guilt that she will put the girl through hell. By the end, I found I no longer cared what happened to Justineau, as there was little in her I found worthy of saving.

The novel ends, however, on a strangely uplifting note—that humanity 2.0, which Melanie represents, will succeed where their forebears failed, and will thrive not in tandem with the humanity of old, but atop its remains. I’ll admit that given my distaste by the end for both Caldwell and Justineau, and the utter selflessness exhibited by Melanie throughout, I was quite satisfied by this ending and the knowledge that the zombies will thrive where we ourselves failed.

No, not knowledge. Hope.

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Review: Nobody is Ever Missing, by Catherine Lacey

18490560>>Published: July 2014

>>Finally got around to it: January 2015

The woman started laughing and laughing and laughing so much I felt like I had to laugh, too, so I did and then I realized we were laughing at how her husband was dead, which really didn’t seem so funny, and I think we realized that at the same time, and we both stopped laughing and there was that deeply quiet moment after two people have laughed too much and we let that quiet moment stay for the rest of the drive. During that silence I thought of that night when my husband and I were having one of the arguments about the way we argue and I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water but instead picked up a knife because I was thinking about stabbing myself in the face—not actually considering stabbing myself in the face, but thinking that it would be a physical expression of how I felt—and I picked up a chef’s knife, our heavy good one that I used for everything from cutting soft fruit to impaling pumpkins and I looked at it, laughed a noiseless laugh, put the chef’s knife down, poured myself a glass of water, and drank it fast, until I choked a little, and I went back to arguing with my husband and he didn’t know about my face-stabbing thoughts and it made me even angrier that he didn’t know about my face-stabbing thoughts, that he couldn’t just intuit these things, look into my eyes and know that the way he spoke to me was a plain waste of our life—but here in the car with the widowed stranger I didn’t have to feel any of those feelings anymore because I had left my husband and our arguments and my chef’s knife and I had come to this country where I could laugh, so gently, gently laugh at things that were actually not funny.

***

You know when you read a book, and you admire the work on a technical level, for what it is and what you think it sets out to do, but still dislike nearly every moment of the experience?

Yeah. I hate when that happens, too. Bear with me here.

I really wanted to like Catherine Lacey’s Nobody is Ever Missing. I wanted to, I just… didn’t. Beyond the simply gorgeous cover, I was intrigued by the novel’s premise: one day, twenty-eight-year-old Elyria Marcus buys a one-way ticket from New York to New Zealand and, when the opportunity arises, abandons her husband of six years and everything she’s ever known. Her destination once in New Zealand is the remote farm of a well-respected poet named Werner, whom she has only met once but is invited to pay a visit to, should she desire a break from modern civilization.

However, there’s a great deal more to Elyria than mere wanderlust. At first blush her life is rather remarkable: a Barnard graduate, she lives in Manhattan’s Upper West Side; her husband (whom she only ever refers to as Husband or the professor, which goes a terrific distance in dehumanizing him) is a tenured associate professor of mathematics at Columbia University; and for five years she has made her living working as a writer for CBS.

But there’s another layer to Elyria, and it has a name: Ruby.

Ruby was Elyria’s adopted Korean sister. More than that, Ruby was a child prodigy. And to go a step even further, Ruby was the TA for the professor Elyria would one day marry. And how did Elyria and the professor meet? Naturally, while dealing with the immediate aftermath of Ruby’s on-campus suicide.

So yeah, a bit of an unconventional situation, emotionally speaking.

But to dig through to an even deeper layer, there’s something wrong with Elyria herself—something that’s been there all her life, though it is never given direct designation. She dubs it “the wildebeest.” It’s the name she’s given the darkness of her own mind, which, as is evident in the segment posted at the beginning of this review, is volatile and potentially dangerous—to Elyria, and possibly to others, too. It’s what keeps her from connecting to anyone else, from feeling any sort of remorse or regret about the life she’s left behind and those who may or may not be searching for her. More than anything, though, it’s what keeps her moving forward.

Throughout the novel, the reader is privy to the never-ending internal battle between Elyria and the wildebeest, which at times feels most prominently rooted in sociopathic tendencies (the ability to shut off all concern for others and focus only one oneself, for example). However, as the novel progresses it becomes clear that while yes, there is something “off” inside of Elyria, it’s been fostered, in a sense, by a number of outside factors: a mother who was never really “there” and who always prized Ruby as the favourite child; a husband who admonishes her like a child and asks “Don’t you have something to say?” when she’s done something wrong; and a life that has never quite felt like hers.

Gradually we see more and more how Elyria has learned to fake her way through life, enacting whatever emotions are necessary for a given situation—learning how to say the right things to get people to pass her by without them wanting to pry too much into her life. But it’s when she’s faced with feeling genuine emotions, especially while hitchhiking her way through the New Zealand countryside, that Lacey’s approach is most effective and Elyria’s inner monologue becomes an almost panicked stream of consciousness, where one thought dovetails into another, and words and phrases are repeated as if her mind is stuttering over new sensory information.

This is the true central conflict within Nobody is Ever Missing. Elyria is not at war with her husband, or her mother, or even the memory of long-dead Ruby. She’s locked in a battle with herself and the horrible things she knows deep down she is capable of. But it’s not the violent thoughts she sometimes has that are the problem; it’s losing control, allowing any emotions to break through for fear of what might also step into the spotlight. And it’s because of this oppressive control—deliberately enacted or simply a part of her—that Elyria faces her current crisis of self: not knowing who she really is or what, if anything, she wants out of life.

Lacey’s writing reflects this conflict not just in the stream-of-consciousness-style noted earlier, but also through the use of italics in place of quotation marks when denoting speech. And while this is an effective tactic in the sense that it visibly filters everything through the narration, which belongs exclusively to Elyria, it also casts a chill over the entirety of the narrative. Even Jaye, who Elyria meets in Wellington, and is about the one bright and shiny personality in this whole book, is deadened by the visibly emotionless writing. I’m sure this all sounds fantastically nit-picky on my part, but it’s a genuine issue I have—feeling invested in a narrative to the same degree when the dialogue is handled in such a manner. I feel it mutes the content in an unfortunate way.

As effective as Lacey’s tactics are in conveying Elyria’s mental and emotional state, they are also what inevitably sunk this novel for me. Put bluntly, it’s exhausting spending any amount of time with Elyria. The novel is relatively short—just 250 slight pages—but I found I was only able to read in fits and spurts, as Elyria’s clinical demeanour and marathon-like chains of thought quickly wore me down every time I picked up the book anew.

The more time I spent with Nobody is Ever Missing, seemingly trapped in Elyria’s mind, the more I felt I was living with an alien species that did not yet understand herself, let alone the humanity surrounding her. And in her coolness, I found I lost the ability to empathize with her journey, or for that matter any part of her personality. From beginning to end, Elyria Marcus remained, to me, a mystery I wasn’t sure I wanted to solve.

Review: God’s War, by Kameron Hurley

9359818>>Published: February 2011

>>Finally got around to it: January 2015

Rhys took a step away from her, to give himself some room. He was angry at her again, angry about this, about all of it. He wanted to find some way to tell her why he was angry, to explain it, but she tended to believe that every conversation involving strong emotion was full of words and resolutions that were not meant, as if he were a raving drunk. She saw every stated emotion as an admission of weakness.

“So where are we going, Nyxnissa?” he asked.

She spit sen on the garage floor. “The morgue,” she said.

Rhys closed his eyes and prepared himself for the horror. The last eight years had been an unending nightmare, starting with his flight across the desert. And it will end with my flight back into the desert, he thought. The globe the queen had given them had included a detailed summary of what she was willing to pay them in return for Nikodem—alive or dead. Nikodem, the alien with the big laugh. He had known her immediately upon seeing her stills but was uncertain about how he felt about hunting her. She was just an alien, and the sum to bring her in—even split five ways—was indeed enough for all of them to retire on. If they completed this note, he could leave Nyx, and this bloody business, forever.

He had no idea what he would do, after.

When he opened his eyes, Nyx had gone.

***

Rare is the character who just fucking leaps off the page, fully formed, like Nyxnissa so Dasheem—Nyx for short. Her page one introduction in God’s War:

Nyx sold her womb somewhere between Punjai and Faleen, on the edge of the desert.

Drunk, but no longer bleeding, she pushed into a smoky cantina just after dark and ordered a pinch of morphine and a whiskey chaser. She bet all of her money on a boxer named Jaks, and lost it two rounds later when Jaks hit the floor like an antique harem girl.

And it only gets more badass—and brutal—from there.

The first entry in Kameron Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha, God’s War takes place on the engineered world Umayma, which is in the midst of a centuries-long war with seemingly no end in sight. What started the war isn’t the point—it’s the world that has developed around it, because of it, that matters here. The economic and militaristic systems that have been created, and the regimes that reign supreme—these are what serve as the backdrop for this vicious, impeccably crafted story.

Which is Nyx’s story, to be precise. A disgraced former bel dame—a government assassin who survives performing decapitations for cash—Nyx now earns her living as a mercenary of sorts, with a small team at her disposal. When she’s given a note from the Nasheenian queen setting a bounty on an alien named Nikodem, Nyx and her team—including the shifter Khos and the Chenjan magician Rhys—quickly find themselves pulled into an even more dangerous game than any of them had anticipated, one involving interstellar gene pirates, illegal genetic breeding between bugs and humans in an effort to create unstoppable weapons—shifters and magicians of their own design—and potentially rogue bel dames with a serious hurt on for Nyx.

While God’s War is undoubtedly Nyx’s story, Hurley effortlessly shifts perspectives throughout, giving us clear views—and reasons to care—about every member of Nyx’s team. However, it’s the magician Rhys who gets supporting-actor billing in this tale. Rhys is Nyx’s moral compass—or the closest she has to one, at any rate. As a Chenjan amongst Nasheenians, Rhys is often regarded in public with distaste or mistrust. The relationship between the Nyx and Rhys is a reflection of the dichotomous world Hurley has crafted, split between Nasheen, which is matriarchal and relatively agnostic/atheistic in structure—and significantly more militaristic—and Chenja, a male-dominated society with strict theocratic structures governing their way of life, and an overt subjugation of women.

There’s so much more to the world of God’s War than the little I’ve written above. Hurley’s universe is three-dimensional in a way so many authors simply can’t or don’t achieve. For every creation, for every idea, she explores the possibilities—the benefits and ramifications therein. It’s not enough to simply have shapeshifters and bug-wielding magicians as races and classes unto themselves; Hurley has developed a believable—and nauseatingly realistic—social hierarchy in which the shifters are forced to shield their gifts or risk prejudicial treatment, in which religious devotees like Rhys are repeatedly mocked for their beliefs, and in which the bel dames—appearing out of nowhere like demonic spectres with a flair for torture—are afforded the utmost authority.

And speaking of the bel dames: Rasheeda. Goddamn what a terrifying character. In her brutality, and her willingness to go to any length to achieve her goals, Rasheeda embodies what’s most unsettling about the bel dames—that they are forever locked in a long con, strategically weighing out all scenarios until they are either in their favour, or under their thumb.

Hurley is a master at kinetic world building. Everything in God’s War exists without needing overt justification or long drawn out explanations. The various elements piece together in a way that feels lived in, and not merely constructed out of a greatest hits package of hard sci-fi odds and ends. It’s all very smart and done on the fly, forcing the reader to either acclimate and keep pace or get the fuck out of the way.

Beyond the systems that have been put in place, Hurley’s plotting also excels. The novel is like the best of heist/criminal underworld narratives, with backstabbings and double crosses at every turn, but all filtered through an intricate, embattled, occasionally twisted, otherworldly lens. The plot never stalls, never really falters. Hurley delights in continuously turns the crank, ratcheting up the tension at every turn, and when you don’t think it can get any worse it gets fucking worse.

Though I’m sure it’s pretty obvious, I’ll spell it out anyway: I absolutely fucking loved this book. I had to search high and low for my copy—and in the end resorted to ordering the trilogy online—but it was worth it, and I encourage others to do the same. Highly recommended.

The 2015 List

1. Age of Ultron – Brian Michael Bendis, Bryan Hitch, Carlos Pacheco, Brandon Peterson, Butch Guice, Alex Maleev, David Marquez, and Joe Quesada
2. God’s War – Kameron Hurley
3. Nobody is Ever Missing – Catherine Lacey
4. Quaternity – Kenneth Mark Hoover (re-read/unpublished manuscript)
5. Look At Me – Robert Shoub
6. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
7. Almost Dark – Letitia Trent (unpublished manuscript)
8. The First Bad Man – Miranda July
9. The Girl With All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
10. The Devil You Know – Elisabeth De Mariaffi
11. Infidel – Kameron Hurley
12. Nothing Looks Familiar – Shawn Syms
13. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
14. Akata Witch – Nnedi Okorafor
15. My Age of Anxiety – Scott Stossel
16. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 10: New Rules – Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, Rebekah Isaacs
17. Angel & Faith, Season 10: Where the River Meets the Sea – Victor Gischler, Will Conrad, Derlis Santacruz
18. Rapture – Kameron Hurley
19. The This & the That – A.G. Pasquella
20. Crystal Eaters – Shane Jones
21. Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum
22. Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life – Ulli Lust
23. After Birth – Elisa Albert
24. Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel
25. Binary Star – Sarah Gerard
26. Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line – Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
27. Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell – Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
28. Where the Words End and My Body Begins – Amber Dawn
29. A Free Man – Michel Basilieres
30. Snake City – Joe Rosenblatt
31. The Voices in Between – Charlene Challenger
32. The Word Exchange – Alena Graedon
33. Super Mutant Magic Academy – Jillian Tamaki
34. The Sex Life of the Amoeba – Barry Healey
35. The Lathe of Heaven – Ursula K. Le Guin
36. My Body is Yours – Michael V. Smith
37. We Will All Go Down Together – Gemma Files
38. The Umbrella Mender – Christine Fischer Guy
39. The Capacity for Infinite Happiness – Alexis Von Konigslow
40. Experimental Film – Gemma Files
41. Angel & Faith: Lost and Found – Victor Gischler and Will Conrad
42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
43. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
44. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
45. So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish – Douglas Adams
46. Mostly Harmless – Douglas Adams
47. The Likeness of Me – Bronwyn Kienapple (Unpublished Manuscript)
48. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 10: I Wish – Christos Gage, Nicholas Brendon, and Rebekah Isaacs
49. Trust No One – Paul Cleave
50. Bald New World – Peter Tieryas Liu
51. Uzumaki – Junji Ito
52. Music for Love or War – Martyn Burke
53. And the River Drinks Your Tears – Michael Matheson (unpublished manuscript; re-read)
54. The Plotline Bomber of Innisfree – Josh Massey
55. All-Day Breakfast – Adam Lewis Schroeder
56. Ubik – Philip K. Dick
57. Y: The Last Man: Unmanned – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
58. Y: The Last Man: Cycles – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
59. Y: The Last Man: One Small Step – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
60. Y: The Last Man: Safeword – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
61. Y: The Last Man: Ring of Truth – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
62. Y: The Last Man: Girl on Girl – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
63. Y: The Last Man: Paper Dolls – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
64. Y: The Last Man: Kimono Dragon – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
65. Y: The Last Man: Motherland – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
66. Y: The Last Man: Whys and Wherefores – Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra (re-read)
67. Under the Poppy – Kathe Koja
68. The Deep – Nick Cutter
69. The Buried Giant – Kazuo Ishiguro
70. The Princess and the Pony – Kate Beaton
71. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
72. Enlightenment 2.0 – Joseph Heath
73. Gyo – Junji Ito
74. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
75. California – Edan Lepucki
76. WE3 – Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
77. The Double – José Saramago
78. Midnight Robber – Nalo Hopkinson
79. Alex + Ada: Volume 1 – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
80. Alex + Ada: Volume 2 – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
81. Alex + Ada: Volume 3 – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn
82. The Acolyte – Nick Cutter
83. Brown Girl in the Ring – Nalo Hopkinson
84. Lost Boi – Sassafras Lowrey
85. Armada – Ernest Cline
86. The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You – Sean Trinder
87. Contact – Carl Sagan
88. Arvida – Samuel Archibald
89. Martin John – Anakana Schofield
90. Movie Star Chronicles – Hayden Smith
91. The Icarus Girl – Helen Oyeyemi
92. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
93. The Unwritten: Inside Man – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
94. The Unwritten: Dead Man’s Knock – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
95. The Unwritten: Leviathan – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
96. The Unwritten: On to Genesis – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
97. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
98. The Unwritten: The Wound – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
99. The Unwritten: Orpheus in the Underworlds – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
100. The Unwritten: The Unwritten Fables – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
101. The Unwritten: War Stories – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
102. The Unwritten: Apocalypse – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
103. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice – Mike Carey and Peter Gross
104. Mouthquake – Daniel Allen Cox
105. Pillow – Andrew Battershill
106. Human Rites – Amélie Nothomb
107. Pétronille – Amélie Nothomb
108. Skein and Bone – V. H. Leslie
109. Fifteen Dogs – André Alexis
110. The Future of the Mind – Michio Kaku
111. Black Like Me – John Howard Griffin
112. How to Be Black – Baratunde Thurston
113. TRANS: A Memoir – Juliet Jacques
114. Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies, and Revolution – Laurie Penny
115. Countdown – Alan Weisman
116. Bird on an Ethics Wire – Margaret Somerville
117. The Knowledge – Lewis Dartnell
118. Physics of the Future – Michio Kaku
119. Moving Parts: Stories – Lana Pesch
120. The Transhumanist Reader – Max More and Natasha Vita-More
121. The Heartbeat Harvest – Mark Jaskowski (unedited manuscript)
122. The Quantum Thief – Hannu Rajaniemi
123. The Fractal Prince – Hannu Rajaniemi
124. The Causal Angel – Hannu Rajaniemi