The book’s hook is the fire that broke out in the library in 1986. Interwoven is the story of Harry Peak, the only ever suspect in the case. Harry Peak really isn’t a sympathetic character (to me, at least)
And lo! The penultimate Read Harder book: number 13 – a book by or about someone that identifies as neurodiverse.
How to describe these memoirs? They are alternatively absolutely hilarious and mind numbingly dull. She is obviously incredibly privileged and it comes across in really funny ways throughout the memoirs.
It’s kind of like a murder mystery in a creepy old house, but instead of normal people it’s necromancers and sword fighters. And the house is staffed entirely by skeletons and isn’t so much haunted as infested with arcane constructs and stuff like that.
So, the plot is that it’s 1000 years in the future, humanity has discovered how to make gates to far flung stars. There’s an inter-system beef between the planet that controls the gate and one that has to pay the tariff of using the gate. There’s a battle and a cold war. In the middle of it, is the rumour of a weapon that can destroy a planet. ALL FINE.
The plot revolves Keiko, who lives in Tokyo and works at a convenient store. I don’t want to label her as not neurotypical (as she doesn’t herself) but she clearly doesn’t fit the traditional role of a woman in that society.
The novella follows four astronauts who travel to distant planets. They manage to adapt to the potential new environment while in transit in a ‘torpor’. Sometimes they just have more protection against UV, sometimes more muscle mass, sometimes, they glitter.