Marrow’s Pit is well written, very well written, the story is engaging and the imagery is excellent: But there’s a deep vein of ugliness that runs through the story and all that good writing just makes more real and unpleasant.
Keith Deininger has produced a story about a society living within the belly of a vast machine that is their job, their home and their god all rolled into one. The story centers on Ballard who makes a tragically poor decision and the consequences that ripple from that action. There aren’t any winners here – it’s hard to empathise with Ballard or anyone else in this story which is as much about infidelity and humdrum, soul-sapping work as it is about an imagined future. It would have been nice to see less description of decomposing bodies and more exploration of the society and the machine in this book – in the end the human drivers of murder and infidelity, and the edge of horror, overwhelm. Ballard is not seeking answers to what lies outside the machine, he’s just fleeing. He gets no answers and neither, really, do we.
I read a review copy of Marrow’s Pit. The book is available on Amazon.