Chana Porter: The Seep (Soho Press) 4 stars

A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is …

Review of 'The Seep' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Humanity has been finally united, thanks to the psychedelic transcendence brought by our new alien friends, the collective trip-inducing hivemind goop known as The Seep. War is over, poverty is over, capitalism is over, colonialism is over, no one can tolerate exploitation when they're acutely aware of the feelings of everybody else and all the animals and plants and each individual body cell. Art flourishes, new and strange occupations flourish, property is collective and abundant in every regard, endless possibilities open up before ourselves. Guided by the new, hyperempathetic Seep tech, people are modifying their bodies to be furries and cyborgs and anything else they want. Other animals ascend to linguistic sentience and we can talk to them now. Some people opt to live chill lives crafting or Seeping out to cool art shows, others take to exploring the boundaries of identity and personhood itself.

No catch, really. No hidden dystopia because things are too good. No subtext that wanting things to be better is dangerous. Things are really better. No one in the world disagrees that the Seep made life much better. Well the Seep refusers at the Compound do, but their choice is respected and they're left alone.

Oh and everyone is irrefutably aware of our eternally reborn immortal souls so the weight of mortality, too, is solved forever.


"The Seep" by Chana Porter asks the question, what if you're still depressed anyway.


What if you know, not through faith but through direct experience, that our immortal souls are immortal, yet you're still grieving. What if you're still grieving after years and you blocked away everyone and you're living in paradise but your living room is a rotting mess and you can't be bothered to even try. What if you can't enjoy any of this shiny new world because your lesbian girlfriend enjoyed it in a way that took her beyond your reach and the saccharine voice of The Seep only adds to the wound. What if everyone is happy and you want to shoot something. someone? yourself? you found a gun...


Short, focused novel in the style currently trending. Takes directions I wouldn't expect. Main character is trans and in the world portrayed that almost doesn't matter, except it then does. I like this one quite a bit.