cover image Drunk on All Your Strange New Words

Drunk on All Your Strange New Words

Eddie Robson. Tordotcom, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-80734-2

Robson (Hearts of Oak) spins a murder mystery into a memorable exploration of the power of language and technology in a post first-contact world. Human Lydia serves as the translator for Fitz, the Logi cultural attaché to Earth. While Lydia’s not the best translator at her agency, she and Fitz work well together. Communicating in the telepathic Logisi language leaves humans effectively drunk, a side effect Fitz is sympathetic to, even standing up for Lydia after a few public debacles. Then Fitz turns up murdered in the home the two share, leaving Lydia a suspect. To clear her name, she plunges into an ever-thickening web of intrigue around Logisi language and technology—and humanity’s extraterrestrial xenophobia. Robson mines the situation for both tension and humor, and Lydia owns her story, coming across as a brash, compassionate, and incredibly persistent heroine readers will root for. Robson has a subtle touch with the futuristic technology, steering clear of excessive exposition to focus instead on how the presence of the Logi effects life on Earth. Readers looking for thoughtful, fast-paced sci-fi should check this out. (June)