January Fifteenth Reviews in Locus Magazine

book cover of a person walking down an alley with an umbrella and the following text: January Fifteenth, “Money Changes everything–except people.” Rachel Swirsky, “One of the best speculative writers of the last decade.” –John ScalziI am delighted to have January Fifteenth reviewed in Locus Magazine Issue 737 not once but twice! 

Here’s snippets of both:

Locus Looks at Books: Caren Gusoff Sumption

“If you’ve ever read any of Rachel Swirsky’s short fiction, then you’re familiar with her signature elegant prose and her very literary deconstruction of traditional plot. Swirsky’s style is instantly recognizable and widely appreciated, earning her multiple Nebulas, and, at the very least, enthusiastic nods from nearly all the award committees in genre.”

“January Fifteenth is a fascinating thought experiment. For two of the characters, the guaranteed income provides them the opportunity to escape conditions in which they are vulnerable. The other two characters, though they come from wildly different backgrounds, contend with how one lives a meaningful life when your basic needs are covered. Swirsky chooses not to show all the possibilities that UBI may have, but instead to linger within these two emotionally-resonant themes.”

Locus Looks at Books: Gary K. Wolfe

Image of Locus Magazine Issue 737, June 2020 cover depicting a soldier colored with red and yellow

“Swirsky, who has long been a profoundly character-driven author, spends little time depicting the political debates around such a policy or explaining the legislation behind it, but rather focuses on its impact on four diverse characters during a single blizzardy January 15.”

“Accurate predictions, as we all know, are actually pretty rare in SF, so that’s hardly the point, either. What is more to the point isthat characters as memorable, engaging, and sympathetic as Swirsky’s four women, each seeking ways to survive in systems that don’t really seem to like them much, are almost equally rare. By the time we’re halfway through their tales, we’re engaged enough to want to follow their fates, UBI or no UBI.”

As always, you can pre-order January Fifteenth from several different locations, including Powell’s, Amazon, Macmillan, and Barnes and Noble.

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