cover image The Planetbreaker’s Son

The Planetbreaker’s Son

Nick Mamatas. PM, $14 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-62963-834-8

A science fiction novella, a fantasy short, a personal essay, and an interview make up the eclectic but impressive latest from Mamatas (Sabbath). The title novella is the main event, exploring a futuristic society that exists inside a vast technological dome connecting disparate pieces, called planets. The planetbreaker, who wanders the dome destroying worlds, has grown uninterested in his wife but longs to connect with his son. But a run-in with other planetbreakers sends the son on a quest that leaves him changed and his parents struggling to adapt. “Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring” features a phone that can call the afterlife and explores the lengths a woman will go to for her long lost love. Veering away from fiction, “The Term Paper Artist” tells of Mamatas’s time writing student essays for money and offers amusing advice for those interested in the work. In dynamic if sometimes convoluted prose, Mamatas dances between forms and genres; readers will appreciate the way he builds his fantastical worlds out of the odds and ends of modern life. This is a worthy showcase of Mamatas’s skill. (Feb.)