The Past Is Red

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Tetley Abednego lives in one of the few remaining patches of land left behind by the ancient fossil-fuel guzzlers: Garbagetown. With a chillingly relentlessly optimistic attitude, Tetley navigates life in the Texas-sized garbage island despite antagonism from all of Garbagetown’s inhabitants. Whether or not this cruelty is justified is for the reader to decide, as Tetley recounts the story of a very difficult choice she made when she was young.

The Past Is Red is technically the sequel to a short story called The Future Is Blue, and both stories are included in this book. In some ways, it’s a simple story about a girl in a dystopian world. In others, it’s an absurdist wonder, combining elements of magical realism, satire, and melancholy. Whether or not those elements appeal to you, Tetley’s unsettling approach to life in a garbage patch makes the book shine. And as a longtime fan of The Girl Who Circumvented Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, I loved getting to read Catherynne M. Valente in “adult” form––she is just as witty, topical, and creative as she is when writing young adult fiction.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 160 pages
Publisher Tordotcom
Publish Date 20-Jul-2021
ISBN 9781250301130 Buy this Book
Issue September 2021
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy