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Algorithmic Shapeshifting, by Bogi Takács

Review copy provided by the author.

This is what science fiction can do.

There is more about alienation and difference in this slim chapbook than most thumping space epics manage. Takács draws deftly on both eir own experience as a multiply marginalized person and eir gift for listening to the experiences of others to create poems that illuminate the diversity of the universe, personally, cognitively, emotionally, with vivid flashes of image and turns of word.

My favorite poems in this collection were “Never Cease” and “The Tiny English-Hungarian Phrasebook for Visiting Extraterrestrials”–each searing and astonishing in their own way, each making me gasp with the turns their perspective took. But there are so many strong works in so few pages here–so many unexpected angles–that I know I’m going to reread the whole thing more than once. Highly recommended.

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