“Our survival honors ancestors more than any tradition”

The Deep Rivers Solomon#sorrynotsorry!  I can’t refrain from posting one more mer-story this month, because it’s so good.  At least it’s not selkies this time! ^_^;

Rivers Solomon, et al.  The Deep.  New York: Saga Press, 2019.

Rating:  5 out of 5 combs decorated with mysterious etchings, like tooth marks, lodged inside a human skull inside the body of a shark.

Recommended if you like:  Collaborative stories inspired by music.  #ownvoices speculative fiction that deals with trauma and injustice, but flows toward a hopeful future.  Highly sensitive protagonists who find strength in self-care.  Queer-focused world-building.

Reading playlist:

  • “The Deep,” by clipping.
  • “Birth of New Life,” by Drexciya
  • “Quiet,” by Ibibio Sound Machine
  • “Ascension,” by Slikback
  • “Release,” by Afro Celt Sound System

P.S.  I’ve created a Spotify playlist called “Sirens and Selkies,” which is inspired by my favorite mer-stories (I couldn’t find the Ocean Girl soundtrack there, but you can download it for free from the Internet Archive).  You can also find several other bookish playlists at my NeriSiren Spotify account.  Keep checking back as I add more lit-inspired tunes!

Read on…


  1. Back in college, I had a class that made us, for a final project, write a collaborative story. We all worked on picking out a main character with vague characteristics. Then, we went off on our own and wrote a 10 page story about the man at some stage in his life. In each case, the story wasn’t told from his perspective, but from the perspective of someone who had met him. In the end, it made for a very interesting collection of short stories about the man’s life. Some showed him as a good person, while others brought out his flaws. It was a difficult, yet fun task.

    • That sounds awesome! I bet that would’ve made a neat book, and I like the idea of the man’s own perspective being a mystery. I took a creative writing class in high school, for which we created a mock literary journal at the end of the semester. We put together our favorite assignments and I seem to remember one guy writing a sarcastic intro and drawing a cartoon version of two of us for the cover.

  2. Great review! You’ve somehow managed to take all my thoughts about this incredible story and make them sound a gazillion times better than I ever could! I thought that this book was absolutely amazing, and it’s one of those books that’s stuck with me long after reading it. I thought it was brilliant in so many ways (which you have addressed fully), and immediately after reading, I listened to the music, which added a new layer of complexity to the story for me. There were so many pertinent issues that the story touched on, and I was impressed with how well it was done in so few pages.

1/100th of an Altairian dollar for your thoughts?

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