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Mort(e) is the Best new science fiction and fantasy 2015 - Washington Post


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Sentient animals frighten me. 

Mort(e), by Robert Repino (Soho, $26.95), catapults the reader into a wild, apocalyptic world where giant ants infect animals with a virus that causes them to become feral while also attaining a human-like intelligence. Questions of animal rights and environmental ethics play out as these newly enhanced creatures try to annihilate the human race, which had previously enslaved and domesticated them as pets and food sources. Caught up in the fray is Sebastian, an ordinary house cat who changes his name to Mort(e), which means “death” in French — but that “e” in parentheses leaves open the possibility that he could be “a regular guy . . . who was meant for a life surrounded by loved ones.” Even as he becomes a vicious killer, Mort(e)’s overriding desire is to be reunited with Sheba, the neighborhood dog who once showed him unconditional love. His journey to find her, set against the backdrop of an ideological war between pure rationality and mysticism, makes for a strangely moving story.

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