Rankin-Gee’s novel is no cosy catastrophe, and its focus on communities, on the fraying social fabric of a divided nation, is to be commended. However, as a regular reader of science fiction I feel like I’ve read literally dozens of novels like this.
This is the sad truth for so many LGBTQ+ kids, especially in small towns like those on the island Morgan lives on: lack of clear queer representation and role models can make even the safest spaces feel dangerous.
Elemental—with stories translated from the Hebrew, Norwegian, Persian, Japanese, Kurdish, German, French, and Polish—is a lovely and sometimes disturbing exploration of the intersection of humanity and nature.
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