Published by Subterranean Press on December 31, 2021
Genres: Science Fiction
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
We think we understand the laws of physics. We think reality is an immutable monolith, consistent from one end of the universe to the next. We think the square/cube law has actual relevance.
We think a lot of things. It was perhaps inevitable that some of them would turn out to be wrong.
When the great incursion occurred, no one was prepared. How could they have been? Of all the things physicists had predicted, “the fabric of reality might rip open and giant monsters could come pouring through” had not made the list. But somehow, on a fine morning in May, that was precisely what happened.
For sisters Susan and Katharine Black, the day of the incursion was the day they lost everything. Their home, their parents, their sense of normalcy…and each other, because when the rift opened, Susan was on one side and Katharine was on the other, and each sister was stranded in a separate form of reality. For Susan, it was science and study and the struggle to solve the mystery of the altered physics inside the zones transformed by the incursion. For Katharine, it was monsters and mayhem and the fight to stay alive in a world unlike the world of her birth.
The world has changed. The laws of physics have changed. The girls have changed. And the one universal truth of all states of changed matter is that nothing can be completely restored to what it was originally, no matter how much you might wish it could be.
Nothing goes back.
Everytime I see something new from Mira Grant, I’m sure to snatch it up. I know she is gonna write something that will keep me on my toes. I also know I’m going to fall in love with the characters. The characters are the best part of her stories. The problem with that is she also tends to kill off characters I fall in love with.
Square³ is a short novella at 112 pages, but I still get enough time with characters to fall in love with them. There just aren’t as many of them. This story follows two sisters (fifteen and seventeen) who are the world to each other. Their parents are just there and really aren’t a huge part of their lives. They have to look out for each other. Then there’s a huge rift in reality, which leaves one on each side of the rift.
One moment, nature had laws and generally followed them, unenforced and unpoliced. One moment, everything was normal. The next, physics and mathematics were negotiable things, and the supposed laws that had always governed biology were shattered beyond all repair.
Susan is the younger and more adventurous of the two sisters. She’s the one left in original reality. She has no idea if her sister is still alive. No one has seen anyone since the rift swallowed everyone up. Susan goes into the field of science to study these rifts. She wants to get her sister back, if there is a way to do so.
This story also has some political aspects. Governments are looking to see how they can use the effects of these rifts as weapons or any benefit or profit. And like you would think, there are also conspiracies that pop up around them. Some question whether they even exist.
This is a fun science fiction story, even if it is short. It tells the complete story here, though there is room to expand on this if one wanted to make a larger series out of it. There’s so much to tell about these rifts and how they affect the people who are near them. As a Mira Grant fan, I’m game to try anything she throws at me.
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