7 Feb 2020

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THE SEEP by Chana Porter #SFFFridays

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays

introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


The Seep by Chana Porter cover
Author: Chana Porter
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via Publisher
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: January 21, 2020

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 fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called 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 Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost 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. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

Read my interview with Chana Porter!

So I really liked this one and how things came together. I wish it had been a little longer and explored some of the ideas a little bit more. There were some interesting conversations to be had around gender, race, and identity that were only scratched at during the course of the novel. And while it's perfectly okay to not have them be the central focus, it felt like the author wanted them to be but was given some pushback about it. But I definitely recommend this one! Such an interesting take on what it means to be human.

I loved Trina as a character. She called people out on their bullshit and knew when she was being the bullshitter as well. It was so amazing to see a trans* character who was also in a loving relationship and treated with such respect! I was so here for it. I loved her attitude, her generosity, and the way she felt so real.

I would have liked this to be about 100-150 pages longer so that we could have explored the world a little bit more. While it was set in our world, it was our world with different rules. I wanted to learn more about the Seep's influence and how it affected all areas - I wanted to explore more of the communes and all that jazz. I think there was another really interesting novel in this that we didn't get to see. But I am hopeful that Porter will write another novel set in the same universe so we can learn more (maybe about Deeba as a baby??).

I am going to start adding this book to every recommendation list I make for Science Fiction novels because I enjoyed it so much. And finished it in like 2 hours. I definitely recommend this if you're looking to expand your speculative fiction to think about benevolent aliens and what it means to have an overseer who just loves you but isn't always quite sure how to express that.

Pick this one up if you haven't already!

What are some of your favourite Adult SFF books?

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