The Strange


Nathan Ballingrud, The Strange (Saga Press: 2023).

This is weird science fiction that leaves you with a sense of cosmic awe! 

I am fascinated by the take on alien otherness here. It reminds me of the manner in which Adrian Tchaikovsky approaches the other, but then Ballingrud takes it a step further; he picks at a Ligotti-like paradox within our own natures: an unfathomable alien mind, but at the same time, a reflection of our own bifurcated and contradictory selves. We are alien to ourselves.

With a child protagonist, Ballingrud exposes the vulnerability of human survival, the lies we tell about our concept of justice and what is fair, and the naïve notion that we have any idea what is really going on. Maybe we are nothing more than a disease.

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