The Space Between Worlds

eBook, 336 pages

English language

Published Aug. 3, 2020 by Hodder & Stoughton.

ISBN:
9781529387124
4 stars (14 reviews)

‘My mother used to say I was born reaching, which is true. She also used to say it would get me killed, which it hasn't. Not yet, anyway.’

Born in the dirt of the wasteland, Cara has fought her entire life just to survive. Now she has done the impossible, and landed herself a comfortable life on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, she's on a sure path to citizenship and security – on this world, at least.

Of the 380 realities that have been unlocked, Cara is dead in all but 8.

Cara’s parallel selves are exceptionally good at dying – from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn't outrun – which makes Cara wary, and valuable. Because while multiverse travel is possible, no one can visit a world in which their counterpart …

4 editions

structurally and emotionally accomplished

5 stars

I had wanted something to read where I did not feel obligated or compelled to take notes, but then there were so many phrases buttressing the plot worth noting down, that I quickly ran out of bookmarks — even despite abandoning a majority of Johnson’s sharpest constructions to the depths of pages read. So, by a third in, I guessed that regardless of how I was to find this novel in any other respects, The space between worlds was at least a four star piece for revisitability. The word-to-word texture remained more prosaic than I fully take to in fiction, but there is much to appreciate in what Johnson has built, and how.

Watch this space. Not just between worlds.

3 stars

This is a novel of alternates worlds set on post-apocalypse Earth. On Earth Zero, as he calls it, an inventor-entrepreneur safely ensconced in a gated city shielded from the harsh conditions of its planet has found a way to reach alternate versions of the planet. Crossing over is risky, so the task devolves to the expendable: the citizens of the wasteland ruled by warlords outside the city gates. Like Cara.

I’m not sure anyone could care enough for Cara, or her tech megalomaniac boss with a dark past, to carry a novel, were it not for a simple fact: This is not a novel of alternates worlds set on post-apocalypse Earth.

What Micaiah Johnson has created instead is something that takes the form and background of its genres and uses them for a meditation on inequality, violence – carried out on others and self-inflicted –, and all forms of exploitation, …

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