Apesar de ter publicado uma novela há alguns anitos, Thomas Olde Heuvelt tornou-se recentemente muito falado pelo conto The Day the World Turned Upside Down, vencedor do prémio Hugo na sua categoria. Extraordinário conto apocalíptico, pela forma original como desenvolve a temática, despertou-me interesse pelo autor. Desde então, tenho estado curiosa para ler algo mais, pelo que assim que soube que ia lançar um livro, acrescentei-o à lista de desejos:
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.
O ser referido por Jeff Vandermeer como uma das melhores leituras de 2015 (na sua lista publicada no Electric Literature) já poderia garantir uma entrada na lista prioritária, mas a descrição de sátira distópica russa com apocalipse zombie é no mínimo estranha:
Vladimir Sorokin is one of Russia’s most popular and provocative novelists. In his scabrous dystopian satire Day of the Oprichnik, American readers were introduced to his distinctive style, which combines an edgy avant-garde sensibility with a fondness for the absurd and even the grotesque all in service of bringing out stinging truths about life in modern-day Russia. In The Blizzard, we are immersed in the atmosphere of a nineteenth-century Russia. Garin, a district doctor, is desperately trying to reach the village of Dolgoye, where a mysterious epidemic is turning people into zombies. He carries with him a vaccine that will prevent the spread of this terrible disease but is stymied in his travels by an all consuming snowstorm, an impenetrable blizzard that turns a drive that should last only a few hours into a voyage of days and, finally, a journey into eternity. The Blizzard dramatises a timeless metaphysical predicament. The characters in this nearly postapocalyptic world are constantly in motion and yet somehow trapped and frozen, spending day and night fighting their way through the storm on an expedition filled with extraordinary encounters, dangerous escapades, torturous imaginings, and amorous adventures. Hypnotic, fascinating, and richly descriptive, The Blizzard is a seminal work from one of the most inventive writers working today.
Lavie Tidhar tem-se tornado, lentamente, um nome conhecido no meio, tanto como organizador de antologias que primam pela diversidade de origens, como pelas boas e estranhas novelas publicadas pela PS Publishing. Central Station é um dos seus próximos livros, que parece mais voltado para a ficção científica do que para a fantasia:
A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap and data is cheaper.
When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover Miriam is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the data stream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin Isobel is infatuated with a robotnik—a cyborg ex-Israeli soldier who might well be begging for parts. Even his old flame Carmel—a hunted data-vampire—has followed him back to a planet where she is forbidden to return.
Rising above all is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.
O próximo livro de China Miéville, This Census-taker, está previsto para Janeiro, mas não impede a curiosidade sobre o livro seguinte com data de lançamento para o Verão de 2016. Ainda sem descrição, basta o escritor para se destacar – mas o que dizer deste título, ainda por cima, depois dos eventos recentes? Curiosa.