content by

Angela Maria Spring

Beware the Ojos Pequeños: Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin

In our new lives of social isolation, where video technology has erupted into a way of life for those with the means and privilege, Samanta Schweblin’s latest offering takes on an even more disquieting quality in her slightly futuristic world populated with toys inhabited by anonymous people, watching us in our most intimate spaces.

Already a master at a creating that slow-closing-in horror with her debut novel, Fever Dream, Schweblin’s new novel, Little Eyes, turns her unnerving style a notch tighter. The book opens in South Bend, with a clique of teenage girls playing cruel games with a garish plush panda bear on motorized wheels that seems to have a camera installed inside, but we have no idea what is until the toy reveals a consciousness within in that blackmails the girls.

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The Ghastly & Grotesque in Molly Pohlig’s The Unsuitable

If the repulsive can strive to be resplendent, then Molly Pohlig’s debut novel, The Unsuitable, a gothic horror story full of shudder-inducing grotesqueness, achieves such a paradox—perhaps a little too well.

Set in Victorian England, The Unsuitable centers around 28-year-old pseudo-spinster Iseult Wince, and the ghostly presence of her mother, Beatrice. Iseult has spent her life both battling and embracing Beatrice’s presence in the deep scar on her neck, remnants of a wound Iseult believes was created when she was ineptly yanked from her mother’s birth canal by an inexperienced midwife, causing Iseult’s collarbone to protrude and leading Beatrice to bleed to death. Iseult is forced to wear mourning garb since her childhood, and is paraded through a series of potential suitors in Mr. Wince’s attempt to rid himself of the daughter he neither likes or nor wants.

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Dark Spaces and Futures in Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac (translated by Roy Kesey)

A brutal poetry lives in the dark spaces, between the stars, and it is through them that Argentinian writer Pola Oloixarac paints a twisted portent of the future path of the world in her cyberpunk novel, Dark Constellations.

In this book, both tongue-in-cheek and terrifying, translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey, Oloixarac gives us a surreally terrifying answer to the age-old question of what the next stage of evolution humanity is hurtling toward—the true fusion of human and technology via the ultimate destruction.

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