Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge
Small Beer Press (Consortium) | 9781931520102 | $16 | Jan 2011
I know it's early in 2011, but I got a finished copy today of a newly reissued book that has one of the most perfectly-apt covers I can recall. Best cover of the year? Maybe it's too soon to call, and probably a bit hyperbolic. But still. Check it out!
When I first read the manuscript of this reissue edition, I was just blown away. There are three distinct sections to the book, and each one has its own flavor and energy – all adding up to a dark but wonderfully described future. It was absolutely one of my favorite novels from the Fall 2010 Consortium catalog.
Here's a snippet of catalog-y descriptors from Small Beer Press:
"Jackal Segura is a Hope: born to responsibility and privilege as a symbol of a fledgling world government. Soon she’ll become part of the global administration, sponsored by the huge corporation that houses, feeds, employs, and protects her and everyone she loves. Then, just as she discovers that everything she knows is a lie, she becomes a pariah, a murderer: a person with no community and no future. Grief-stricken and alone, she is put into an experimental program designed to inflict the experience of years of solitary confinement in a few short months: virtual confinement in a sealed cell within her own mind. Afterward, branded and despised, she returns to a world she no longer knows. Struggling to make her way, she has a chance to rediscover her life, her love, and her soul—in a strange place of shattered hopes and new beginnings called Solitaire."
Harper Eos published Solitaire back in 2002, and it's been OP for a couple years at least. Somehow I missed it entirely the first time around. Luckily, Small Beer Press has stepped into the breach to bring us a beautiful new edition of a modern deserves-to-be-classic.
FURTHER READING & RESEARCH:
Individuals can find Solitaire in bookstores everywhere, and presumably in ebook formats everywhere too, though my favorite source of ebooks has to be Small Beer's homegrown storefront, Weightless Books – source of DRM-free editions of their own books as well as a clutch of other cool indie publishers' books: homepage | new book update via RSS | Solitaire @ Weightless