The year is 1976 – seven years since First Contact – when seventeen-year-old Kirk MacNair’s crisis of faith reaches a tipping point. He absconds across the Saskatchewanian prairie in a stolen van with two former churchmates: Roland, a nihilistic burnout, and Louis the fantasy-obsessed homeschooler. With a bag of contraband anti-hallucinogens stashed in the backseat, they navigate the perils of a cross-country pilgrimage to the proverbial Wedge City, a hippie commune nestled in the mountains of British Columbia. Their act of teenage rebellion evolves into a quest for self-actualization as they question the true nature of God, the alien artifacts unceremoniously dubbed ‘Big Dumb Objects’ (BDOs) orbiting the Earth, and a seemingly prescient Cree girl chasing after her father’s ghost.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10
Plot: Armstrong sets up an intriguing premise that probes big philosophical questions about belief and humanity’s place in the universe.
Prose: Snappy dialogue, evocative descriptions, and high stakes suspense scenes will keep readers’ interests piqued.
Originality: Armstrong breathes new life into the science fiction genre by uncovering and exploring existential dilemmas, something that good sci-fi ought to do.
Character/Execution: Armstrong’s sharp characterization and a realistic depiction of the period will draw in even the most seasoned readers.
Date Submitted: August 30, 2021