The city of Ora uses a complex living network called the Gleaming to surveil its inhabitants and maintain harmony. Anima is one of the cloistered extrasensory humans tasked with watching over Ora’s citizens. Although ær world is restricted to what æ can see and experience through the Gleaming, Anima takes pride and comfort in keeping Ora safe from all harm.
All that changes when a mysterious visitor enters the city carrying a cabinet of curiosities from around the world, with a story attached to each item. As Anima’s world expands beyond the borders of Ora to places—and possibilities—æ never before imagined to exist, æ finds ærself asking a question that throws into doubt ær entire purpose: What good is a city if it can’t protect its people?
I received a digital advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
If I had to describe In the Watchful City in a word, it would be ‘transcendent’. In the Watchful City is unlike anything I have read before; this novella pushes the boundaries of science-fiction/fantasy, highlighting that there are no limits or restraints in meaningful storytelling that interweaves themes of diaspora, power, gender, and transformation. The power of In the Watchful City is that it feels – and perhaps is – a story that feels so deeply and unapologetically personal.
A warm welcome back to the Pond, friends! We’re back with yet another book recommendation post and I’m so excited to share today’s list of books that you can all read during Pride – and beyond Pride Month!
Our Friend is Here!is a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.
Have you ever read a book that challenged everything you thought you knew of a genre, and then single-handled reinvigorated your love for science-fiction? That’s how I felt after reading In the Watchful City by S. Qiouyi Lu, a stunning and evocative novella that explores diaspora and gender with several stories embedded within its wider story. Friends, I don’t say this lightly: if S., the author of In the Watchful City, is the future of science-fiction and fantasy? Then we’re in wonderful hands and we should all be very excited.
What a month May has been for the Pond! We hosted 16 Asian and Pasifika authors this month, and I am so proud and happy with the awesome stuff that my co-bloggers and I did to uplift and share Asian and Pasifika literature this month. And of course, thank you to everyone who visited, shared and supported our work, and joined in our celebrations for Asian Pasifika Heritage Month. (Here is a full list of all the features we did this month!)