Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach

Kelly Robson. Tor.com, $3.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-250-16384-4
Robson (A Human Stain) creates a high-tech far-future world radically altered by climate change and plague. In 2267, an ecological restoration team travels 4,000 years into the past to gather data to use in restoring a river ecosystem after climate change and other ecological disasters have forced most humans underground. The irascible Minh, who specializes in river restoration projects (and has six tentacle prostheses instead of legs), leaps at the chance to visit 2024 BCE Mesopotamia to collect samples to take back to the future. Joining her are Kiki, who goes to extreme lengths to join the team; tactical historian Fabian, an employee of the group that developed time travel; and Hamid, who’s eager to study the plentiful animal life. Upon arrival, they discover a plethora of material, but they also wind up in the crosshairs of a Mesopotamian king and a moon priestess. Robson’s work offers much food for thought, but the world is initially confusing and the story builds slowly. The second half, however, brings plenty of action as distrust and paranoia build among the group and they inevitably tussle with the locals. This richly imagined adventure marks Robson as an author to watch. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
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