Review: Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan

Sullivan wants to remind us to recycle. It’s a perfect message for the inflection point we live in where are children will either drown in the oceans of Venus or thank us for learning to live within our planet’s means. At first glance Occupy Me is patchwork genre novel. Just as it’s told in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person, it’s slightly near future, slightly a thriller and ever so slightly that special brand of hard science fiction that verges on the metaphysical.

We’re introduced to a doctor who seems to be a nice guy with a checkered and fairly complex past. He’s connected in various ways to an oil company that doesn’t seem any more nefarious than your average oil company. There also seem to be 2 versions of our doctor, which is initially quite odd.

Then we’re introduced to an angel, who is part of a benevolent resistance. A very strong angel who slowly becomes central to the entire mystery. This angel seems to be connected to everything and sees those connections as Love. People connected to the angel drive the story along.

When prehistoric beasts and messages from the future in crude oil all start to build into a fractal logic, the point of the whole story becomes clear.

Sullivan likes to tell stories in multiple layers like this. The mundane is often the framing story – people with relationships. Physical objects that behave as expected. Stories with a beginning a middle and an end. The other layer might read like cyberpunk or space opera, but it’s always the echo between the 2 (or more) that exponentially expand the power of the work.

In this case, we’re reminded that our current civilization is based on oil, which is literally burning the remains of our ancestors – sort of recycling. We build current structure by creating entropy from previous structure. And then we’re shown the same thing at the scale of the entire universe and reminded to backup our work before we step away from our devices.

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~ by mentatjack on June 10, 2017.

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