Rivers Solomon: An Unkindness of Ghosts

My plan was to recommend a book a day, and I’m a day behind. I’ll catch up at some point, but in the meantime I’d like to heartily recommend “An Unkindness of Ghosts” by Rivers Solomon.

An Unkindness of Ghosts

This dystopian novel explores race, gender, sexual orientation, class strata, ageism, mental health issues, and physical disabilities. I’ll admit to being unsettled at first by the singular “they,” but I was quickly caught up in Aster’s story aboard the HSS Matilda, which has housed famiilies for generations.

Giselle and the Surgeon were two troubled, complex characters who were key to Aster’s survival. I haven’t read a great deal of science fiction. In any case I would not have guessed how the final events would unfold in any case and did not expect a happy ending. I am eager to see what this talented young writer, who has been compared to Octavia Butler, does next.

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From the author’s bio: “Rivers Solomon is a dyke, a Trekkie, a wannabe cyborg queen, a trash princex, a communist, a butch, a femme, a feminist, a she-beast, a rootworker, a mother, a daughter, a diabetic, and a refugee of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.”

“Suffused with the past, the present, and the future of human experiences in its events, An Unkindness of Ghosts launches the career of a brilliantly gifted and important new writer in science fiction.” — J.G. Stinson, Foreword Reviews

This science fiction debut novel was a Best Book of 2017: The Guardian (Science Fiction and Fantasy), NPR Book Concierge, Publishers Weekly (Science Fiction/Fantasy), Library Journal (Science Fiction/Fantasy), Bustle (Fiction), Bookish (Best Book to Give), Barnes & Noble (Science Fiction and Fantasy/Alternate Universe Pick). Also: John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Finalist; Lambda Literary Award Finalist, LGBTQ SF/F/Horror; and A Stonewall Book Award Honor Book.

Previous recommendations: Mike McClelland’s Gay Zoo DayLucy Jane Bledsoe’s A Thin Bright Line, and  SJ Sindu’s Marriage of a Thousand Lies


About elizandersen

Elizabeth Andersen considers it a great triumph that despite two degrees in English literature, she has been able to live by, for, and with words her entire career. She has taught English composition at three universities, including Rockhurst University. As an editor at Andrews McMeel Publishing on the syndicate side from 1984 to 2001, Elizabeth edited newspaper columns and comic strips. She is currently an editor/proofreader for Bywater Books. Besides being on the production team for Kansas City's LGBT Film Festival "Out Here Now," she is on crew for the National Women's Music Festival. She hosts the Sandra Moran Radio Book Club every second Saturday of The Tenth Voice on KKFI 90.1 FM.
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