How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (2022)


Sarcophagus ecologist
Jan 14, 2024
Hi all! I'm new to this community and excited to discuss sci-fi stuff with y'all :)

My last read of 2023 was Nagamatsu's novel How High We Go in the Dark and would love folks' thoughts on it!

For those who haven't read it, I'll offer a brief description. In content, the chapters are a series of vignettes from "slife-of-life" perspectives of different characters with variable time breaks starting around the 2030s. A scientist studying Artic ice melt with the hope of mitigating it unwittingly unleashes a long-dormant virus. As a medical professional, I love the virus itself, which alters cells into other cell types, such as changing lung cells into heart cells. Having been published in 2022, the text clearly draws on our collective experience of the Covid pandemic and its effects on our society. In substance, I'd best describe the text as a reflection on both individual and collective grief, as well as what comes after (i.e. how high we go in the darkness of grief). Some scenes in the novel are a little more surrealist than others, but for the most part the text sticks closer to the harder end of science fiction, especially in regards to epidemiology.

Personally, I really enjoyed both the plot and the structure, though sometimes I had trouble keeping up with the new characters being introduced each chapter.
So, what did you think? Did you like the structure? Do you feel the novel introduced new elements into the canon of science fiction?

Thanks for reading, excited to get to know this community!
Do you feel the novel introduced new elements into the canon of science fiction?
I've had the ebook for a month or so, however I haven't yet made a start on it.
It's slowly working it's way up my To Be Read pile, eventually I'll read it and then get back to you on this :)

Welcome to Chronicles by the way.

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