The Seep by Chana Porter

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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4 weird, mildly creepy, magically wonderful stars

The Seep was one that really has stuck with me for a while since I read it almost 2 months ago.

The Seep was one of the highlights of my end of year reads. In the moment, I definitely enjoyed the book, but what really makes me love this book is the fact that it has stayed with me. Since I’ve read it, I’ve thought about this book, or even referenced it quite a few times.

It’s hard to say anything without giving the entire book away, because it is not full of twists and turns. Rather, it is full of harrowing moments of pure humanity. It questions what we think of as love. It begs us to think about what it means to be who we are, together, as humans. It was heartbreaking, hopeful, weird, interesting, and wonderful. In exactly the same way life is.

SFF/speculative fiction really shines when they are able to take a fantastical element (or a lot of them) and use it to really put a spotlight on humanity. The Seep does a fantastic job of that.

Chana Porter, writes the NY Times, “uses incongruity and exaggeration to suggest some midnight-dark truths about human life and endeavor.” She is an emerging playwright, speculative novelist, and education activist. Her plays have been developed or produced at The Flea TheaterPlaywrights HorizonsThe Catastrophic TheatreLa MaMaRattlestick Playwrights TheatreCherry LaneThe Invisible Dog,  & Movement Research. Houston Press writes “Porter’s type of risky storytelling is, well…. like a lion’s roar in an all too often timid jungle.” She is a MacDowell Fellow, a New Georges Audrey Resident, a Target Margin Artist-in-Residence, and the recipient of Honorable Mention for the Relentless Prize. She is currently writer-in-residence at The Catastrophic Theatre in Houston. Chana is the co-founder of the Octavia Project, a free summer writing and STEM program for Brooklyn teenage girls and non-binary youth. She has taught her embodied creativity course Writing from the Body at University of Houston, Fordham University, Hampshire College, Goddard College, Weber State, and with Sarah Lawrence’s Global Classroom. Her debut novel, The Seep, out from Soho Press and Brilliance Audio, with starred reviews from Publishers WeeklyBooklistLibrary Journal, and Foreword ReviewsThe Seep is an ABA Indie Next Pick for February 2020.