HellSans by Ever Dundas (Angry Robot, October 11, 2022). Covers by Kate Cromwell
One thing I’ll say about science fiction and fantasy: there’s always room for an audacious idea. And that pretty much describes HellSans, the science fiction debut by Scottish writer Ever Dundas, about a font that triggers euphoria — or agony.
Publishers Weekly calls it “Wildly imaginative… [a] stand out,” and Library Journal proclaims it “A smart and unique dystopian thriller.” And Lisa Tuttle at The Guardian selected it as one of The Best Recent Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, calling it “a violent and compelling thriller, with far more psychological and moral complexity than the general run of dystopian fiction.”
I don’t know about all that. But I do know that when I picked up a copy at the bookstore last week, I was taken immediately by the originality of the idea — and the premise of a scientist on the run as she tries to find a cure for a ubiquitous font. I brought it home with me, and I’m looking forward to reading it.
Here’s an excerpt from Tuttle’s full review.
That one person’s heaven can be another’s hell is brilliantly and graphically depicted in this novel set in a near-future Britain. Smartphones have been replaced by a cyborg combo of lovable pet and telepathic personal assistant called the Inex, and the general population is in a near-constant state of bliss induced by a sans serif typeface used on all signage and in written words. But for a minority, instead of ecstasy, the HellSans font causes severe allergic reactions… Even to talk of a possible cure is dangerous, and when Dr Icho Smith develops one, she finds herself tortured and threatened with death. This is a violent and compelling thriller, fuelled by real anger and compassion, with far more psychological and moral complexity than the general run of dystopian fiction.
Read the whole thing here.
Ever Dundas is the author of the World War Two drama Gobin. She has also been published in Æther & Ichor and The Yellow-Booke.
HellSans was published by Angry Robot on October 11, 2022. It is 451 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback and $6.99 in digital formats. The cover is by Kate Cromwell. Get all the details at the Angry Robot website.
See all our recent coverage of the best new SF and fantasy releases here.