The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits by Ben Berman Ghan

The title The Years Shall Run like Rabbits is from a W.H. Auden poem, but that might be your last connection to Earth as we know it in this outwardly tale. This book reads like a technicolour acid trip, confusion and chaos in the best way, difficulty finding your footing, excited to see what is next. It also has incredibly poetic prose and big, imaginative ideas and could be called a genre-defying piece of work, horror and sci-fi, literary, and dystopian. This is a great read for anyone who finds themselves constantly asking, “where is this world going?” and feeling worried about it.

This is a book that starts in 2014 Toronto with a winged angel alien planting seeds that will grow on the moon and then spans centuries into other plants and dimensions. It is an intense piece of speculative literary fiction and requires us to think of what our world is and what it could be. We meet sentient holograms, ghosts, black boxes holding years of memories, aliens, angels, cyborgs, and hybrid creatures you could have never imagined. Suspend belief, because you need to. Let your imagination run wild and allow this novel to float over you. 

Ghan also forces us to think about the past sordid actions on this planet by referring to and connecting aspects of his story with slavery, separation of families, immigration, and consumerism. Can you ever remember where you came from, and can we trust our memories? These are some of the questions that will arise while reading. Everyone will surely relate to the feelings of helplessness and struggle that flow throughout this book, like there is never enough we can do to save this world or ourselves. 

This book poses a lot of ethical questions and ruminations about the future. What is the future of AI and can AI become sentient? What does it mean to be alive? Who or what is considered alive? Can we ever recover from our mass ecological destruction? Will we ever stop “preaching communal acceptable and spiritual fulfillment through capitalism?” And are humans going to continue trying to conquer more, more, more and to always win the game of escalations? One thing is for sure, the world can never go back to the way that it was, and we must keep moving forward. Ghan does a great job exploring this and underneath it all there is a feeling of hope.

Ben Berman Ghan is a writer and editor from Toronto, Canada, whose prose and poetry have been published in Clarkesworld magazine, Strange Horizons, the Blasted Tree Publishing Co., the /tƐmz/ Review and others. His previous works include the short story collection What We See in the Smoke. He now lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, where he is a Ph.D. student in English literature at the University of Calgary. You can find him at www.inkstainedwreck.ca.

Publisher: Wolsak & Wynn (May 21, 2024)
Perfect Bound 9″ x 6″ | 310 pages
ISBN: 9781989496886

Laurie Burns is an English as additional language teacher to immigrants, literacy volunteer and voracious reader living in Dartmouth.

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