The other side of the forests | Burning phobias

For those who are unfamiliar with it, science fiction boils down to a literary genre populated by spaceships, intelligent robots and strange creatures wandering through fantastical lands. This would be to misunderstand her subject, and even more so the approach of Ariane Gélinas, who once again weaves a romantic web around northern territories and indigenous cultures, such as she had already outlined in the trilogy The sleeping villagesmulti-awarded.

In his new anticipation novel The other side of the forests, set a century in the future, global warming has reached its peak. There we find a love triad composed of Tiéra, Einar and Maurane. The first, a dark, athletic Quebecer, suffers from thermophobia and wears an air-conditioned jacket. Hoping to free her from this anxiety linked to the heat, her lovers lead her on a pilgrimage trail to the borders of the Northwest Territories, to the edge of coniferous forests and tundra. They too have balms to apply to their lives: Einar, a wealthy Norwegian, fears the darkness, while Maurane, a nineteenth-century historian, struggles with her mental health. What will they find during and at the end of their expedition?

We like the original treatment of the future effects of the climate crisis, as well as the highlighting of little-known and yet very real territories, such as this North dotted with pingos – all served with careful and careful writing. Among the regrets, narrative expositions that are sometimes pushed a little artificially (subtly explaining the workings of a fictional universe to the reader remains a challenge in science fiction) and editing work that sometimes leaves something to be desired, with recurring small errors gone under the radar, or the paper so translucent that you could almost read the back of each page.

The other side of the forests

The other side of the forests

To read

266 pages


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