cover image Aama: The Smell of Warm Dust

Aama: The Smell of Warm Dust

Frederik Peeters, trans. by Edward Gauvin. Abrams/SelfMadeHero, $19.95 hardcover (88p) ISBN 978-1-906-83873-7

At the start of the first volume of this French SF thriller trilogy, a distant-future ne’er-do-well named Verloc wakes in a molten crater, his eyes filled with tears over his lost daughter, and his memories a blur. Moments later, he’s approached by a robot gorilla named Churchill who’s thrilled to see him and hands him his journal. The journal reveals how Verloc’s younger brother, Conrad, cajoled Verloc into accompanying him and Churchill to an isolated experimental colony at the edge of the cosmos. Upon their arrival, the true purpose of Conrad’s visit is revealed, as is Verloc’s role in it. Peeters is best known for his intimate graphic novel Blue Pill, but he seems to have produced this mind-bending tale of SF mystery and intrigue without breaking a sweat, offering clever retro-future designs and rich, moody hues. The expectantly hallucinatory unraveling of the mystery should satisfy fans of psychological sci-fi like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Solaris. (Mar.)