Atlantic Monthly. Oct. 2023. 176p. ISBN 9780802161840. $26. SF
In Mosley’s (Every Man a King) dystopian sci-fi novella, Martin Just wakes up and realizes that he has an alternate good consciousness, Temple, that has awoken after a centuries-long sleep and is the Cure for Humanity. Martin’s search for understanding of his predicament starts a snowball effect that will see him hauled before the racist criminal-justice system and thrown into a prison cell, all suffered in order to come face to face with Death: Tor Waxman. Death seeks to destroy Humanity, and Martin must convince his family and a group of racist thugs to stand and fight. In this ongoing battle between good and evil, what sacrifices will need to be made to obtain victory? This dizzyingly alternative reality, combining quotidian evil banalities with intergalactic ones, is sometimes difficult going—not only because readers, like Martin, must figure out what is going on, but also for the systemic racism that serves as a catalyst and a backdrop for the ongoing feud.
VERDICT A hard-hitting, topical story that fans of Mosley will enjoy.
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