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Review: Anthropocene Rag

Rating: 4 out of 5.


In the future United States, our own history has faded into myth and traveling across the country means navigating wastelands and ever-changing landscapes.

The country teems with monsters and artificial intelligences try to unpack their own becoming by recreating myths and legends of their human creators. Prospector Ed, an emergent AI who wants to understand the people who made him, assembles a ragtag team to reach the mythical Monument City.

In this nanotech Western, Alex Irvine infuses American myth-making with terrifying questions about the future and who we will become.


Thanks to NetGalley for a providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book, that in all honesty I thought was going to turn out to be pretty dumb, had me hooked from the first page in a bizarre adventure that I could not put down. This odd little novel manages to be equal parts Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Westworld, and Welcome to Night Vale while at the same time being a very distinct work.

The thing I was most concerned with while reading this was the question of “how can strange this story possibly end?” Some may be dissatisfied with how it does, but I felt that it fit perfectly with both the writing style and the overall narrative.

And that is all I will say on any of that, as I feel to go into any detail about the book would harm someone’s enjoyment of it. I recommend if for anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic SF as it is definitely one of the more unique entries into the genre.