Sunday, August 20, 2023

The City in the Middle of the Night

My book for August was The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders. Casting around for something to read, I chose this book because it was a finalist for the 2020 Hugo Awards for best novel. Additionally, the novel was nominated for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award and won the 2020 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

The story takes place on a tidally locked planet. Humans live in the twilight zone between the boiling heat of the sun-facing side and the frozen wasteland of the night side. Life is divided between two archetypically different urban sites surrounded by hostile alien life. It explores themes of personal relationships and contemporary social and political issues.

When I first picked up the book, I was surprised by the range of reviews. Lots of people loved the book, while others hated it. As a result, it has a medicore overall score on most sites. Reading the book, the author plays with some interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the ending fell very flat for me. I suspect that the weak ending is why so many people disliked it. I don't recommend the book.

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