cover image The Nothing Within

The Nothing Within

Andy Giesler. Humble Quill, $13.99 trade paper (552p) ISBN 978-1-73356-764-0

This magical, terrifying, and whimsical debut is a genuinely original and immersive take on post-apocalyptic SF. Several generations after an illness called the Nothing turned people into chimeras and destroyed civilization, only Amish culture has survived. Root, the blind daughter of the village weaver, asks too many questions and is often suspected of being infected with the Nothing. She grudgingly accepts her otherness within her regimented life until a tragedy in the community causes her to hear a voice that no one else can. Pushed to her limits and forced to question everything she has been taught, Root finds herself solely responsible for the fate of the world. In a departure from tales of grim technological nightmares, this not-quite-dystopian novel focuses on folk storytelling—with Root at its center, now old and recounting her life story to future generations—and the personal nature of questioning what is normal. Every word is placed as carefully as a quilt square. This is a welcome breath of fresh air and calm after the apocalyptic storm. (BookLife)