Blackfish City: A Novel

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The glow-in-the-dark cover of Sam J. Miller’s Blackfish City appropriately matches this wonderfully weird and fascinating story. A frightening infectious disease known as the “breaks” is wreaking havoc on the people in the corrupt city of Qaanaaq. Kaev is hired by his ex-lover Go, a crime boss in Qaanaaq, to throw rigged fights. Soq is an impoverished nonbinary person who delivers messages for Go. Ankit, a scaler who works for Arm Manager Fyodorovna, is trying to find her mother, who was sent to live in the Cabinet. Fill, a young gay man with the breaks, discovers the extent of his grandfather’s political power. However, all of their lives are about to change when a mysterious woman rides to Qaanaaq on the back of an orca with a polar bear accompanying them.

Written in alternating voices that eventually come together in surprising and satisfying ways, Miller’s evocative world-building is the highlight of this rollicking, deeply absorbing read. The richly immersive Qaanaaq seems to overshadow the plot, which is at times hazy and difficult to follow, and the rapid final chapters almost demand a rereading. But the novel’s redeeming quality lies in its unusual, complex characters whose voices are consistently riveting.

Blackfish City is a spellbinding novel that should not be overlooked.

This page was created by an SFBR staff member.


Reviewed By:

Author Sam J Miller
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2018-Apr-17
ISBN 9780062684820
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2018
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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