When a mysterious disaster erases most of the world, five very different people try to survive the post-apocalyptic wasteland using their strange new abilities. A young couple are trapped in their domestic setting. Two punks wander the wasteland, pushed further west by fears of retribution. A video game designer, used to living the high life in the city, is stranded at a highway gas station. Their interwoven stories explore the human need for connection and purpose, while also discussing the effect memory has on personal identity. In Brittni Brinn’s introspective debut, everyone will have to come to terms with who they have become and what they have done to survive.
A glittering debut! In The Patch Project, Brittni Brinn crafts a fully realized post-apocalyptic world devastated by scientific hubris, in which survivors search for sanctuary while being pursued by their own past, present, and future. Brinn’s characterization is compelling. The mystery of self-identity challenges her survivors as they wander through a labyrinthine wilderness, where they learn to negotiate the benefits and dangers of their new and surprising powers.
The Patch Project is Canadian author Brittni Brinn’s debut speculative fiction novel. It is populated with an eclectic cast of memorable characters inhabiting a dream-like post-apocalyptic landscape in search of an elusive meaning to their nightmarish world. Mysteries abound, and tantalizing hints of a global ecological disaster infuse the narrative with a perpetual tension that never lets up. Brinn adds depth to her end-of-the-world scenario by infusing her characters with uncanny abilities, suggesting an almost super-evolutionary symbolism that clashes head-on with the stark remnants of the devastated world around them.
Intelligent storytelling, intricately-developed characters, and an overwhelmingly surreal sensibility elevate The Patch Project to the upper echelon of speculative fiction. Akin to the more outré work of Samuel R. Delany meets the literary precision in language of Phyllis Gotlieb. Recommended!
Alexander Zelenyj, author of Songs for the Lost
The Patch Project by Brittni Brinn takes place in a world laid to waste by mysterious means and follows the story of those left behind. Isak and May live in their home, which was once situated in a pleasant suburb. Now all their neighbours’ homes have been mysteriously wiped away. Pinot and Miller live on the fringe, which doesn’t seem much different from what may have been their lives before the wasteland. Ed lives in the rest stop he had pulled into, far from his big city life. Living off of convenience store snacks, he wonders if he is the last alive on the seemingly barren landscape that surrounds him. Through lush and personal writing, Brinn follows these lost souls as they question their lives before, what their lives have become, and what awaits them in their possible future – if anything at all. Adding to the dystopian framework is a dash of sci-fi wonderment as each character discovers a newfound ability – whether it be jumping forward in time or the power to heal. Fans of cerebral sci-fi are sure to enjoy The Patch Project.
An unfathomable catastrophe strikes: The Patch Project tells the tales of a few people who manage to get by in its wake. Its vivid scenes hint at the larger storyworld beyond the safety of a house (or convenience store) walls. Refreshing and tantalizing, this story matches unexpected characters and scenarios with anticipated confrontations.
Brent Ryan Bellamy, PhD (English and Film Studies, University of Alberta)