SF/F Debut of the Month, September 15, 2012

starred review star Gropp, Richard E. Bad Glass. Del Rey: Ballantine. Oct. 2012. c.432p. ISBN 9780345533937. pap. $15. FANTASY

The military are evacuating Spokane, WA, and no one knows why. But the Internet shows video clips of impossible creatures and images that seem to violate the laws of physics. When photographer Dean Walker sneaks into the nearly abandoned city, hoping to find the “perfect shot,” he discovers a hidden society of people who refuse to abandon their homes. Accepted into a group of young people led by an enigmatic and troubled woman named Taylor, Dean begins to question the actions of the military and attempts to uncover the truth behind mysterious events that grow stranger daily. With its well-drawn and utterly believable characters, Gropp’s award-winning debut, which demonstrates a keen artistic sensibility and a deft ability to create an atmosphere of both danger and beauty, is reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves as well as Samuel Delany’s novels about individuals caught up in inexplicable events. VERDICT Anyone who enjoys thoughtful fantasies will find much to celebrate here. [Gropp was the grand prize winner of Del Rey’s Suvudu Writing Contest.—Ed.]