I’m a voracious reader, but every now and then I get in one of those ruts where nothing seems interesting to me. While looking through some lists of recent Sci-Fi and Fantasy releases, I found something that hooked me as soon as I read the synopsis: We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep.
We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep is the debut novel (though it could also qualify as a novella since it’s only 170 pages) of Andrew Kelly Stewart. It has gotten a lot of comparisons to Walter M. Miller Jr’s A Canticle For Leibowitz (a personal favorite of mine), by virtue of also being about Catholicism after a nuclear apocalypse. However, while Miller showed a largely positive religious community and it’s conflict with a society that is being re-modernized, Stewart instead examines the dark inner workings of a pseudo-Catholic cult that roams the ocean of a post-nuclear world in a decrepit submarine, waiting to deliver the “Final Judgement” via its one remaining missile.
The protagonist of We Shall Sing a Song Into the Deep is Remy, a member of the submarine’s choir of young castrati singers (the usage of eunuchs in liturgical music was a practice that occurred until the late 19th century), who is actually a girl in disguise. Over the course of the novel she will be forced to question her beliefs, and whether she is willing to play her part in the moment she has been raised for: heralding the final destruction of Earth.
As may have guessed from the previous paragraphs, it’s a pretty dark story, albeit with some hopeful aspects. If you can handle some HBO’s Chernobyl-style bleakness and horror, I’d highly recommend it.