So it’s three months and 100 days until The Only Harmless Great Thing drops on January 23rd. I am already having anxiety dreams. I have already been having anxiety dreams for a month now. People tell you you’ll be nervous, but they don’t mention the low-level simmer of “oh god the New York Times is going to pan me or Publisher’s Weekly is going to skin me or maybe they just won’t care and honestly which would be worse” that sets in when your have an imminent book release peeking over the horizon like a moon that may be a space station with a death ray at its heart.
That said, there are moments that alleviate the nail-biting and most of them have to do with early reviews, of which TOHGT has already gotten a handful. Link roundup below!
- A really almost embarrassingly glowing review from Shana DuBois over at Nerds of a Feather that I was pretty certain was being sarcastic until I realized that no, no, she really did love it that much. Every time I get a review that good, some part of me assumes sarcasm. I don’t think that will ever go away completely.
“This novella is not typical anything. It is not a standard scifi adventure, it isn’t a literary gem, it isn’t any one thing because it is everything. There is not a single wasted word in this treatise of perfection. Sometimes you read a novella and lament it is not book-length. The Only Harmless Great Thing could only ever be what it is and Bolander nails it. 10/10.
- The wonderful Alasdair Stuart also gave it an equally glowing assessment in a review that utterly knocked the breath out of for me for several days. I swear I don’t owe him my soul. Not for this, anyway.
This is an astonishing debut in this format from an astonishing writer. It seethes with rage and love and knowledge. It demands to be read. Listen to it.
- Sharp-as-a-new-tack Will Shaw also really (mostly) dug it, and (this is really, really fucking important to me and I’m wondering how many reviewers will catch these themes as well as he did) noted the FILTHY SOCIALIST OVERTONES of solidarity that glue the book together.
This final act of compassion, this insistence on solidarity in the face of fatal oppression, is fundamental to the book’s success. The Only Harmless Great Thing is bold, cutting, and exactly what science fiction needs to be right now.
The Only Harmless Great Thing is available for pre-order wherever you purchase your booklings. Please buy my filthy commie elephant book so I can continue to write & sell stories about whatever crazy crap pops into my head and makes me angry.