January 12, 2014

American Elsewhere

by Robert Jackson Bennett

Mona Bright, a down-on-her-luck and depressed ex-cop, is surprised to learn that she has inherited a house in Wink, New Mexico. She is even more surprised to find that Wink appears on no maps. It is strangely hard to find, but when she does find it, the people there are strangely happy.

This novel has echoes of American Gods and a healthy dose of Burroughs, but what it chiefly recalls is John Varley’s Gaia trilogy – especially Wizard and Demon. Dealing with superior intelligence is no picnic, and writing about such encounters from the point of view of the inferior species is seldom very satisfactory. Bennett manages about as well as can be.