Book Review: Things from the Flood by Simon Stålenhag

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You know that feeling when you see something so good you wish there was more? I felt that way when I first saw Simon Stalenhag's eariler book Tales from the Loop. Now we're being treated to a sequel.

If you haven't seen the first book, this is sort of like a picture book with stories on the side. And the pictures are some really stunning paintings. There's so much to love about the art.

Composition and colour palette for each painting are carefully chosen. The nice thing is all the artworks are printed big in this 128-page hardcover. That's the right way to let readers enjoy the art. And the paper used is the non-glossy matte paper.

Tales from the Flood continues the stories from the earlier book. The Loop was closed but it started leaking, and it flooded the town with brown ice-cold water. The strange things did not stop there. There's some sort of lifeform fusing itself with everyday objects, like a modem, or growing inside a TV. In one painting, a car was surrounded by two huge slug-like creatures with hard crab-like legs.

Elsewhere in the town, there are AI robots roaming living life like hippies, and huge derelict metal components lying around. It seems there aren't many people living in this town, giving it a deserted look.

The text is written in first person view by the author as if he's experiencing this in the town. He has no idea what's going on exactly. He reports what he sees, and tells us what he thinks was happening. There's this constant mysterious vibe that hangs in the air because we don't truly know what's causing all these. It's like sometimes when things happen, like on the news, and you want to know what's going on, but there's no information. Yeah, it feels something like that.

Stalenhag nailed the idea, mood and the look. This is sci-fi done right.

Most highly recommended.

Things from the Flood is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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