What do you think?
Rate this book
352 pages, Kindle Edition
First published December 3, 2019
Once upon a time, I spoke to three dead astronauts. Past, present, future? All so proud, so determined. All so doomed.
Somewhere out in the City, the rest of the foxes were playing. Learning. The duck still stood sentinel. The leviathan lumbered between holding ponds. She spun out into the desert. Blind. Unaware. Reckless. Stripped of sense. Unable in that moment to recover herself. The three dead astronauts behind her.
Chen said: Any theory at this point made as much sense, since no theory made sense. That the fox could be inhabited by an alien intelligence. Or it could be a particularly devious AI wormholing back under the power of a self-made destiny. If the paths were open, porous, then other sorts of doors could open as well. Even though Grayson, the only astronaut among them, said aliens had never been encountered by humankind out in the universe. That human beings never mastered AI.
Dark bird. Dark secret. They knew not what it hid, what was artifice and what was content. Peel away that layer, find a deeper monster still.
A creator who no longer remembered the creation: Wasn't that one definition of a god?
Moss couldn't extend the field. But, at a price, she could become a door – they walked through her and she followed, and wasn't that the definition of sacrifice?
What was a person but someone who turned monstrous, anyway? What was a person, in Moss' experience, but a kind of monster.
A soul is just a delusion that lives in the body. No delusion survives death. Death is more honest than that.
Behemoth could no longer. Had no. Become Leviathan. Ravenous a sacrifice to Nocturnalia. Hunger an empty stomach that felt full. Tried to remember and forget: Nocturnalia. The house on the hill. Nocturnalia: The tidal pools that must be holding ponds. Cool nothing of mud against the hot itch of scales enflamed by rheum and cracks, comfort against battle scars under the stars, the night surcease, too, a different kind. In kind.
In the end, if you change the enemy enough, if you wear them down, perhaps losing is good enough.This is pretty trippy. I'm more certain than ever that the cover art on these VanderMeer books are representative of the content. Dead Astronauts is a wibbily wobbly, time-wimey Borne universe adventure. Get lost. Find yourself again. Looping. Catching a new thread and weaving.
The sentimental tale. The tale you always need to care. Which shows you don't care. Why we don't care if you care.
Nothing simple about a person who loved the sea so much she couldn't live without it.
But in the end, joy cannot fend off evil. Joy can only remind you why you fight.