MFAW alumna Chana Porter’s debut novel, The Seep, will be published on January 21st. It’s a utopian alien invasion story about grief and loss, which took seven beautiful, harrowing years to write. Talk about a culmination!
What’s it about? Here you go: Through the alien beings known as The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible. Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence-until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated. Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind.
What are people saying? All good things! Check out the advance blurbs:
“A unique alien invasion story that focuses on the human and the myriad ways we see and don’t see our own world. Mesmerizing.”—Jeff VanderMeer, award–winning author of Dead Astronauts and the Southern Reach trilogy
“The standard canard is that utopian settings are boring, monolithic, didactic, and make for bad fiction. How lucky we are to have Chana Porter to blow such nonsense out of the water with this moving and beautiful book.”—China Miéville
“In a time of dreary dystopias, Chana Porter’s The Seep is that rarest of books: a genuine utopian hope of salvation. While the novel accomplishes this through an alien intervention, its message is not simply one of blind optimism, but a complex portrait of people struggling with change, fear, and ultimately hope. Porter shows us that the end of the world is easy. The beginning of the world is the real challenge.”—Rachel Pollack, award-winning author of Godmother Night
“Unlike anything you’ve ever read.”—Bustle
“Porter’s gripping, subtly hopeful work of literary speculative fiction is shaped by remarkable world-building elements and acute observation of human frailties and impetus.”—Booklist, Starred Review
“In Porter’s surreal, introspective debut, a benevolent alien invasion leads humanity into a utopia, exploring themes of grief and discontentment within a seemingly perfect world . . . Readers will delight in the eerie disquietude and optimism of this well-calibrated what-if.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“An intoxicating takeover narrative, its promises as appealing on their surfaces as they are frightening in their implications . . . The Seep is a daring paean to human vulnerability and a bold speculative inquest into what makes life worth living.” —Foreword Reviews, Starred Review
“This surreal debut takes on themes of utopia, identity, love, and loss, while readers are pulled into a full experience through Porter’s fluid prose. This unusual story will linger long past the last page.”—Library Journal, Starred Review
We were thrilled to have Chana back to Goddard as our Visiting Alumna, and if you missed her then, or can’t get enough, check out her book tour at a location near you! Tour dates in the poster, or check out https://www.chanaporter.com/. If you haven’t heard of Chana, you haven’t dived deeply enough into this Writer in the World blog. Here are some links to get you started: https://thewriterintheworld.com/2016/12/07/octavia-project-receives-full-funding-2017/; https://thewriterintheworld.com/2015/05/13/science-fiction-as-social-activism/