The Only Harmless Great Thing

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Macmillan, Jan 23, 2018 - Fiction - 96 pages

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novelette

Finalist for the Hugo, Locus, Shirley Jackson, and Sturgeon Awards

The Only Harmless Great Thing is a heart-wrenching alternative history by Brooke Bolander that imagines an intersection between the Radium Girls and noble, sentient elephants.

In the early years of the 20th century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time, an Indian elephant was deliberately put to death by electricity in Coney Island.

These are the facts.

Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and injustice crying out to be righted. Prepare yourself for a wrenching journey that crosses eras, chronicling histories of cruelty both grand and petty in search of meaning and justice.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jzacsh - LibraryThing

Could not get beyond page 10. Was so confused. Maybe my patience for this writing style is just abnormally low, as a lot of people seem to love this book. To be fair, I also tried to read it in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - renbedell - LibraryThing

An alternate history novella where elephants reveal that their sentient ability and are now socially involved with human culture. The story is weird and not very engaging. It is well written and has interesting ideas though. Read full review

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About the author (2018)

BROOKE BOLANDER writes weird things of indeterminate genre, most of them leaning rather heavily towards fantasy or general all-around weirdness. She attended the University of Leicester 2004-2007 studying History and Archaeology and is an alum of the 2011 Clarion Writers’ Workshop at UCSD. Her stories have been featured in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Nightmare, Uncanny, and various other fine purveyors of the fantastic. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, the Hugo, the Locus, and the Theodore Sturgeon awards, much to her unending bafflement. The Only Harmless Great Thing is her first project with Tor.com.

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