Alex Passey
At Bay Press
September 29, 2020
347 pages
ISBN: 9781988168234

Mirror’s Edge is a cunning and thought-provoking debut science fiction/fantasy novel that showcases two beautifully juxtaposed worlds. It follows Rath in a technologically advanced future in which everyone and everything is connected through a MOSES chip nestled against the brainstem. Except, Rath hates his MOSES chip. He could have it removed, but doing so would make it impossible for him to function as a part of his society.

Sarah’s world is beautiful and pristine, nature nearly untouched by the humans that live in a simpler world. Sarah lives in a small cabin in the woods with a large garden, a tool shed, and a small pen that houses a cow. It’s quaint, but this is all she needs. The people of Sarah’s world do not value, nor have a need of, material things. They grow and take only what they need, and share what they can with others. They, too, are all connected to the Collective Consciousness, a fluid barrier between worlds, and are one with everything. They do not believe in the ego, nor do they have any system of time.

“Linear numerations are not really something we concern ourselves with,” Sarah explains to Rath shortly after his arrival to her world. “Each year, each day, each moment is very much like any other. To mark some as particularly significant is to deny the significance of another. We have taught ourselves to live fully in the moment.”

When Rath finds himself in Sarah’s world, he believes he has found a paradise unlike any other, a place where he can finally belong. His MOSES chip (which he calls Moe) doesn’t work here, and he is finally able to be alone with his thoughts without Moe’s constant interruptions.

Just as Rath is getting to know this new world, Sarah insists they travel back to his, so that she can see all of the strange technologies Rath has described. Rath resists, but feels he owes Sarah after she has hosted him. When they arrive, he learns his work has been looking for him, and his bosses are upset.  

Once Sarah gets past her difficulty breathing in the heavily polluted air, she is amazed to discover cars and skyscrapers: “[t]housands of separate homes carved out of a mountain.” Where Rath sees only the negatives of his world, Sarah sees endless possibilities. Rath’s MOSES chip allows him to easily connect with the people around him, whereas in Sarah’s world it takes many years of

practice and study to be able to tap into the Collective Consciousness, and truly be a part of their society.

Food in supermarkets is so readily available and in abundance that she would never need to worry about a poor garden yield. There are no predators to contend with for survival. Yet Rath’s world is not without its dangers and soon Sarah finds herself in a situation that makes her desperate to return home.

Mirror’s Edge asks us to contemplate the true value and cost of technology and modern lifestyle, while taking readers on a fantastical introspective journey. The characters are strong and they contrast and complement as their worlds do. Could Rath have finally found the place where he belongs or is there more to Sarah’s world than meets the eye?

Alex Passey, based in Winnipeg, is both a poet and a novelist. Mirror’s Edge made the Small Press Distribution’s recommended reads list 2020, and his next novel, a high fantasy novel called From Heart’s Fire Forged, is generating buzz.

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