A review by bookaneer
Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories by Abbey Mei Otis


This is a hard book to read, and even harder to rate. I had to tally my individual rating for each and came up with 2.5 stars. Gosh darn it, if it's 2.4 or 2.6 it would be easier. I give three for now just because it is still better than most two star-books I read.

Why the extra 0.5 star? It brought, no, kicked me out of my comfort zone. It has some powerful scenes, intriguing conversations. This is my first encounter with the author's work and she sure is memorable. She knows how to knit all the traditional SF story elements from aliens, genetic modification, dystopia, rising sea water, and ground them to the level of individual, families and communities. Most stories also have strong voices. All happen to be female, in all kinds of ages.

Now, the downside. The stories are super bleak, set near futurish decaying world, and told in a hopelessly devastating manner. The book is not something to pick up randomly and require a suitable mind condition - mine is pretty stressed out at the moment - thus it got heavier. Also, I admit I did not fully comprehend all stories.

Yet, I feel the draw of rereading them. Some I did reread because they are short(er) and I ended up liking them. I hope I could find a time when I could, in a better state of mind, peel the layers slowly and immerse myself more. Unfortunately this is not the time.