Archangels of Funk

Tor.com. May 2024. 384p. ISBN 9781250807281. $29.99. FANTASY
Hairston’s (Will Do Magic for Small Change) latest novel of hoodoo and physics revolves around the Next World Festival that welcomes everyone to share their past and choose their future. This is especially important for a world at the edge of the apocalypse, with climate disasters and corporate greed destroying it. Cinnamon Jones thought she could save the world, but now she’s feeling alone, despite her loving community. She’s considering canceling the festival, but the ghosts of her family, her living friends, her circus-bot creations, and her dogs—one living, one cyber-revenant—aren’t going to let her forget to seek her beautiful future. Along the way, her coding skills, magic, and found family will overcome kidnappers, entitled tech bros, and duplicitous exes and will put on a danged good show. The music of Hairston’s prose and her characters’ approach to conflict set the novel apart. Opponents are offered understanding and forgiveness before escalation, and there’s a sense that even the most recent mistakes don’t have to tarnish someone if they’re willing to listen and learn.
VERDICT This cross between Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler and Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono deserves a place in every library.
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