The Folds: Miss Universe is raw, dystopian science-fiction.
Available on Amazon, Kobo and additional platforms: http://www.amazon.com/The-Folds-Universe-Mico-Pisanti-ebook/dp/B00GBVE68O/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=wordsmack-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=VW3A55SD6TXOQXJL&creativeASIN=B00GBVE68O
And published by Wordsmack : http://www.word-smack.com/
Mico Pisanti is an established name in the Johannesburg sci-fi scene, and has pieces in the likes of the seminal Something Wicked magazine and anthology and Bloody Parchment. Read a little more about this author and his work here:
And now, a word from our sponsor (personal opinion alert!)
As a jaded a cynical reader, (because it’s a pretty jading world), I want to get behind, suspend my disbelief and buy into the central concept of the Folds, but I need a little more from the world to reassure me that it’s safe to do so. The Folds is a beautiful, hopeful, potent and poetic concept, and I want it to be something to hold onto. I’m hoping that in the next episode I find my in-story hand holds that help me properly immerse myself in this central idea.
So, putting my professional reviewer hat back on, how do you know if you’re the kind of reader who’ll become a Folds fan? Please also remember that this is only the opening episode in what promises to be a substantial series.
First, being into science-fiction, or wanting to get into science-fiction will help, the folds has quite an experimental layout, almost more like a screen-play than a traditional short story, and does some jumping in perspectives that builds that slightly discomforting unease in the reader that dystopia is famous for. Pisanti is not a hand-holdey, spoon-feedy author, his often sparse description requires buy-in from the reader to co-create mental images, tastes, sensations, maps of the setting, and a willingness to re-invent the understanding of the larger story-world with each new piece of information given.
For fans of the genre, this kind of agency given to them is hugely exciting. Don’t expect the Tolkein-esque, somewhat prescriptive descriptions of the cut of each characters every item of clothing, and exactly how many stitches along its hem. Pisanti focuses his writing on the big moments and the powerful concepts, leaving the reader to fill in setting and atmosphere. It’s an open, nascent world, rather than a game-board along which the story moves you as audience. That leaves both a lot of nagging questions, and a sense of disorientation, but also a great deal of room to play.
If you’re not yet a fan of the genre, this short is a pretty decent place to start. The unusual choice of second person perspective is designed to draw the reader into the story, and just as the reader is given agency in creating the world, this piece, again unusually for dystopian fiction, is set at the heart, rather than in the aftermath, of world-changing events.
So here is something different, new, not without its rough edges and setbacks, but delivering in a big way on concept, voice and format. It’s a brave new world, there for the taking by brave new readers, willing to edge a little out of their comfort zones.