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Square³

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We think we understand the laws of physics. We think reality is an immutable monolith, consistent from one end of the universe to the next. We think the square/cube law has actual relevance. We think a lot of things. It was perhaps inevitable that some of them would turn out to be wrong. When the great incursion occurred, no one was prepared. How could they have been? Of al We think we understand the laws of physics. We think reality is an immutable monolith, consistent from one end of the universe to the next. We think the square/cube law has actual relevance. We think a lot of things. It was perhaps inevitable that some of them would turn out to be wrong. When the great incursion occurred, no one was prepared. How could they have been? Of all the things physicists had predicted, “the fabric of reality might rip open and giant monsters could come pouring through” had not made the list. But somehow, on a fine morning in May, that was precisely what happened. For sisters Susan and Katharine Black, the day of the incursion was the day they lost everything. Their home, their parents, their sense of normalcy…and each other, because when the rift opened, Susan was on one side and Katharine was on the other, and each sister was stranded in a separate form of reality. For Susan, it was science and study and the struggle to solve the mystery of the altered physics inside the zones transformed by the incursion. For Katharine, it was monsters and mayhem and the fight to stay alive in a world unlike the world of her birth. The world has changed. The laws of physics have changed. The girls have changed. And the one universal truth of all states of changed matter is that nothing can be completely restored to what it was originally, no matter how much you might wish it could be. Nothing goes back.


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We think we understand the laws of physics. We think reality is an immutable monolith, consistent from one end of the universe to the next. We think the square/cube law has actual relevance. We think a lot of things. It was perhaps inevitable that some of them would turn out to be wrong. When the great incursion occurred, no one was prepared. How could they have been? Of al We think we understand the laws of physics. We think reality is an immutable monolith, consistent from one end of the universe to the next. We think the square/cube law has actual relevance. We think a lot of things. It was perhaps inevitable that some of them would turn out to be wrong. When the great incursion occurred, no one was prepared. How could they have been? Of all the things physicists had predicted, “the fabric of reality might rip open and giant monsters could come pouring through” had not made the list. But somehow, on a fine morning in May, that was precisely what happened. For sisters Susan and Katharine Black, the day of the incursion was the day they lost everything. Their home, their parents, their sense of normalcy…and each other, because when the rift opened, Susan was on one side and Katharine was on the other, and each sister was stranded in a separate form of reality. For Susan, it was science and study and the struggle to solve the mystery of the altered physics inside the zones transformed by the incursion. For Katharine, it was monsters and mayhem and the fight to stay alive in a world unlike the world of her birth. The world has changed. The laws of physics have changed. The girls have changed. And the one universal truth of all states of changed matter is that nothing can be completely restored to what it was originally, no matter how much you might wish it could be. Nothing goes back.

30 review for Square³

  1. 5 out of 5

    karen

    okay, i did it, and i am not losing any sleep over my decision. it's already halfway sold out, and they've just posted a (tiny) excerpt here. ************************************* i love mira grant, but i can barely follow the description of this one, DO I SPEND FORTY DOLLARS YES OR NO??!!?? Limited: 1250 signed numbered hardcover copies: $40 okay, i did it, and i am not losing any sleep over my decision. it's already halfway sold out, and they've just posted a (tiny) excerpt here. ************************************* i love mira grant, but i can barely follow the description of this one, DO I SPEND FORTY DOLLARS YES OR NO??!!?? Limited: 1250 signed numbered hardcover copies: $40

  2. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Me, every time Subterranean Press emails me about a new Mira/Seanan title: Me, every time Subterranean Press emails me about a new Mira/Seanan title:

  3. 5 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    One moment, nature had laws and generally followed them, unenforced and unpoliced. One moment, everything was normal. The next, physics and mathematics were negotiable things, and the supposed laws that had always governed biology were shattered beyond all repair. Seventeen year old Katharine and her fourteen year old sister, Susan, are almost close enough to one another when the incursion happens. Almost. Now an adult, Susan works in “rift physics”, the world she knew as a child changed in way One moment, nature had laws and generally followed them, unenforced and unpoliced. One moment, everything was normal. The next, physics and mathematics were negotiable things, and the supposed laws that had always governed biology were shattered beyond all repair. Seventeen year old Katharine and her fourteen year old sister, Susan, are almost close enough to one another when the incursion happens. Almost. Now an adult, Susan works in “rift physics”, the world she knew as a child changed in ways her and other scientists are still trying to come to grips with. Katharine, meanwhile, is on the other side of the rift. Susan doesn’t even know if her sister is still alive. That side of the rift is where the monsters came from, after all. “Sometimes you have to be inside a thing to understand it” I preordered this book in May 2021 and may have accidentally burned the cover image into my brain since then. It had me expecting more monsters per page than I actually encountered but the monsters I met were well worth the anticipation. I loved Katharine and Susan and the ways they looked after one another as kids. I loved the science and how easily I believed all of this was not only possible but potentially imminent. Just in case this novella winds up in the non fiction section, it’s been really nice knowing you. No matter which side of the rift I end up on, it’s practically a certainty that I’m a goner. Maybe I’ll be too mesmerised by the impossible colours to notice the monsters. Maybe I’ll be too curious about the possibilities of the other side of the rift. Maybe I’ll irritate the wrong kid. “Should I be alarmed?” “It won’t change anything if you are, so I wouldn’t bother wasting the time if I were you.” Bonus points for the delightfully appropriate chapter numbering and Susan’s Project title. Now, if someone would please commission a companion novella written from Katharine’s point of view or a sequel, I’d be a really happy soon to be squished, melted or otherwise mangled rift casualty. And if that could happen some time in the next, oh, 130 days, that’d be awesome. Heads up: the incursion happens on 16 May 2022. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. “This is a safety light!” Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roz

    Somehow this felt more like a Seanan McGuire novella than a Mira Grant one and I like her MG stuff more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    A decent story with an interesting premise and I'll always read anything Seanan writes but I think that either I'm getting the point where I'm not enjoying novellas very much or she's getting worse at writing them because usually I feel like she does a really good job fitting a lot of information and character development into a small page space but everything just felt incredibly rushed here to me. Love the bones of this story but it really just left me wanting more at every turn and I would ha A decent story with an interesting premise and I'll always read anything Seanan writes but I think that either I'm getting the point where I'm not enjoying novellas very much or she's getting worse at writing them because usually I feel like she does a really good job fitting a lot of information and character development into a small page space but everything just felt incredibly rushed here to me. Love the bones of this story but it really just left me wanting more at every turn and I would have loved to be able to take some time and get to know the characters and the world more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Riveting and chilling - I'm tempted to sit back down and read it again immediately. I think the cats and dogs will stick with me most - and the colors. Riveting and chilling - I'm tempted to sit back down and read it again immediately. I think the cats and dogs will stick with me most - and the colors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Imogene

    First read of the year! I had thought that this wasn’t available as an ebook in Australia, but thankfully you can buy straight from the publishers! This was also the first thing that I’ve read that really acknowledges post-pandemic normality. An excellent short story (novella?) that was filled with plenty of detail, and manages to avoid spending any time shoving in a romance. Science and sisterhood for the win! (Edit: gosh I’m really going in on the exclamation points today)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Berni Phillips

    This is a stand-alone novel by Seanan McGuire's SF alter-ego. Teenaged sisters Susan (age 14) and Katherine (age 17) were as close to each other as they were different from each other. They had to be close because their parents really didn't know or care how to be good parents. Riding bicycles, Katherine (or Kitty) notices that the sky has gone the green that heralds tornadoes. She wants to turn around and go home before it strikes, but her reckless little sister doesn't want to go home. This is This is a stand-alone novel by Seanan McGuire's SF alter-ego. Teenaged sisters Susan (age 14) and Katherine (age 17) were as close to each other as they were different from each other. They had to be close because their parents really didn't know or care how to be good parents. Riding bicycles, Katherine (or Kitty) notices that the sky has gone the green that heralds tornadoes. She wants to turn around and go home before it strikes, but her reckless little sister doesn't want to go home. This is a pattern: Kitty is hyper-responsible, looking out for the wild and heedless Susan. Kitty finally has to evoke their safety word (or phrase), safety light, to signal that she is not playing and they really need to do this. Too late, an alien rift appears between the two sisters. A monster comes out and starts doing what monsters do, destroy things. Susan never saw her sister again. Skip ahead and we see adult Susan, who has gotten her Ph.D. and is a researcher working to discover the science behind those rifts. The land never healed, and children that are born near these places begin manifesting super-powers. There are still places that never recovered from these rifts, dead zones where nothing can safely pass or come out alive. Susan is working in a lab nearest the rift that opened near her. She hears that there has been a sighting of a safety light inside this area. This immediately makes her think of her sister so she goes there. I'm going to stop with the plot summary here. When that rift appeared and she lost her sister (and her parents, but that she didn't mind so much), Susan grew up. She grew up and became the sort of woman her sister was headed to be: a careful researcher, no longer a daredevil, obsessive about trying to find what happened to her sister. Funding for any such project is generally from the government and more specifically the military. They're always looking for new weapons and this rift is an opportunity. Children with super powers - imagine if baby Kal-El had landed in DC and been found by someone seeking to use this infant as a secret weapon. If you were the leader of another country, wouldn't you want to get your own super-baby? You can tell the story becomes Susan trying to do good against the dehumanizing power of her employers. I liked this and the super-powered children she encounters are rather scary. But they are scary in the okay-until-you-do-something-you-shouldn't way, not the this-is-mindless-evil way. Only a fool would get on their bad side. Susan can't go back and undo her reckless ride which separated her from her sister, but she can try to make amends in a different way.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Sharp and weird I love the fact that the premise is so silly, and that Grant manages to turn it into something so intense and compelling.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Another great science horror from Mira Grant This is shorter than her usual work, but it packs a punch. This is post-pandemic the Before Times are gone fiction that imagines the world in fascinating and terrible ways. I don't want to spoil too much, so I won't detail plot or characters. Suffice it to say that everything follows logically as the world unfolds. The horrible inevitability of what people do and the absolute need to remain humane, rational and subversive are the very timely messages. A Another great science horror from Mira Grant This is shorter than her usual work, but it packs a punch. This is post-pandemic the Before Times are gone fiction that imagines the world in fascinating and terrible ways. I don't want to spoil too much, so I won't detail plot or characters. Suffice it to say that everything follows logically as the world unfolds. The horrible inevitability of what people do and the absolute need to remain humane, rational and subversive are the very timely messages. And I never trusted Pokemons. Not one little bit.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zerdath

    More please! An amazing short story and I hope it spawns a series! I want to learn more about this world(s), and the people living in it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    SciNeuron

    Мы думали, что понимаем законы физики. Мы думали, что реальность тверда как монолит. Мы думали, что закон квадрата-куба невозможно нарушить. Мы думали, что знаем все. Но мы ошибались. Когда началось вторжение гигантских монстров, мы были не готовы. Кто они? Откуда прибыли? Из всех катастроф, которые предсказывали физики, разрыва ткани реальности в списке не было. Но каким-то образом в одно прекрасное майское утро именно это и произошло. В тот день сестры Сьюзен и Кэтрин Блэк потеряли все, свой до Мы думали, что понимаем законы физики. Мы думали, что реальность тверда как монолит. Мы думали, что закон квадрата-куба невозможно нарушить. Мы думали, что знаем все. Но мы ошибались. Когда началось вторжение гигантских монстров, мы были не готовы. Кто они? Откуда прибыли? Из всех катастроф, которые предсказывали физики, разрыва ткани реальности в списке не было. Но каким-то образом в одно прекрасное майское утро именно это и произошло. В тот день сестры Сьюзен и Кэтрин Блэк потеряли все, свой дом, родителей, чувство реальности... и даже друг друга, потому что после разрыва Сьюзен оказалась в одной реальности, а Кэтрин в другой. Для Сьюзен реальностью стала наука, учеба и изучение различных аномальных явлений, происходящих в месте разрыва. Для Кэтрин — неразбериха, монстры и борьба за выживание в мире, очень сильно не похожем на тот, в котором она родилась. Мир изменился. Законы физики изменились. Девушки изменились. И как бы сильно этого не хотелось, но ничего уже не вернуть, так как любая измененная материя не может быть полностью восстановлена до первоначального состояния. «Квадрат^3» Мира Грант (англ. Square3 by Mira Grant)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)

    Mini blurb: Two sisters separated as teens by a rift in the fabric of reality get reunited as adults when tragedy strikes - and realise their original roles have been reversed, or maybe not. *** This one gives off strong Wayward Children vibes at first (I'm talking about the style and the neglected-kids narrative), but when everyday reality collides with a world of impossible horrors and deadly wonders that you allegedly can't cross into (and viceversa), it turns into full-fledged Mira Grant. Kath Mini blurb: Two sisters separated as teens by a rift in the fabric of reality get reunited as adults when tragedy strikes - and realise their original roles have been reversed, or maybe not. *** This one gives off strong Wayward Children vibes at first (I'm talking about the style and the neglected-kids narrative), but when everyday reality collides with a world of impossible horrors and deadly wonders that you allegedly can't cross into (and viceversa), it turns into full-fledged Mira Grant. Katharine, the rule-following older sister (also autistic, but mind you - it doesn't bear much weight in the story) is swallowed by the rift and thrown into a life-threatening nightmare that forces her to break a number of them - or to make new ones - while Susan, the rebel younger sibling, grows up to become the scientist Katharine should have been, in hope to be able to retrieve her sister (who might be dead for all she knows) from the monster world. The sisterly-bond scenario fuels the story at first, then it seems to take a backseat to the drive for scientific discovery on one side, the fierce protective instinct toward your own on the other. So I was a little bummed about that, but as usual, Grant provides excellent character studies even when those characters don't fulfill your expectations. Not to mention, old instincts have a way to resurface, and even to perpetuate down the genetic line... Bottom line: Square3 delivers an intriguing sci-fi premise with a thriller angle, wrapped into a familiar yet creative fantasy/horror scenario and fueled by sibling affection, with some memorable young female characters (or young versions of them) and some slightly more stereotypical, but still strong adult ones. Recommended if you dig science horror where hearts and guts (of both kinds) bear the same weight. Note: definitive review (due to time commitments, I've decided not to write full-length reviews anymore for short stories, novellas and anthologies, except in special cases or unless they're part of a series).

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Popular sci-fi horror author Mira Grant presents an intense page-turner that features two sisters in Evanston, Illinois as they are swept up in the next earthshaking disaster after the pandemic. Huge rifts tear through the cities of the world and Godzilla-like monsters step out of them. Worse, the sisters are separated, with Susan in the real world and Katharine stuck in a hellish landscape where the laws of nature work differently. Susan dedicates her life to finding a way to free her sister fr Popular sci-fi horror author Mira Grant presents an intense page-turner that features two sisters in Evanston, Illinois as they are swept up in the next earthshaking disaster after the pandemic. Huge rifts tear through the cities of the world and Godzilla-like monsters step out of them. Worse, the sisters are separated, with Susan in the real world and Katharine stuck in a hellish landscape where the laws of nature work differently. Susan dedicates her life to finding a way to free her sister from the exclusion zone, and in the process, she becomes entangled in a government conspiracy and a biological arms race that exploits modified children. Despite the rather abrupt ending, this is a fast-paced and entertaining novella that’s perfect for fans of Lovecraftian horror. The sisters are admirably ruthless and determined, though they bear the pain of isolation and separation. The setting is vivid, and the compelling science explores phenomena that defy the square-cube law. It’s interesting to see how tragedy changes people, and how they try to understand events that are logically beyond human comprehension. (This review was originally written for Library Journal magazine.)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Mixed feelings on this one. It’s better, steadier, than other things she’s put out recently. It doesn’t feel tired. It has some similar themes to her other Sub Press works. I may not be counting correctly, but I think that this is the third novella dealing with sisters, but the ideas here are a little fresher and certainly interesting, and if there are trope characters, she’s given them like a quarter twist turn, so that they’re not straight McGuire stock characters, minus a single egregious exa Mixed feelings on this one. It’s better, steadier, than other things she’s put out recently. It doesn’t feel tired. It has some similar themes to her other Sub Press works. I may not be counting correctly, but I think that this is the third novella dealing with sisters, but the ideas here are a little fresher and certainly interesting, and if there are trope characters, she’s given them like a quarter twist turn, so that they’re not straight McGuire stock characters, minus a single egregious example that stumbled right out of the pen. That plus a throw away fist shaking line are the only two things that really threw me out of this, so all in all good.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Krueger

    Generally speaking, when Mira compares something to a legendary Pokémon, you know the characters are the special kind of fucked, because Mira knows those things are super terrifying. We get a great story about two sisters, just barely in the before but mostly in the aftermath, lots of particle physics and sci fi science, and an even more deep seated anger at the US government than I was expecting, but given that this was a work she started in the pandemic, unsurprising and echoes on the readers Generally speaking, when Mira compares something to a legendary Pokémon, you know the characters are the special kind of fucked, because Mira knows those things are super terrifying. We get a great story about two sisters, just barely in the before but mostly in the aftermath, lots of particle physics and sci fi science, and an even more deep seated anger at the US government than I was expecting, but given that this was a work she started in the pandemic, unsurprising and echoes on the readers end. I would love to see more in this world if she’d like to play more in it, there’s definitely a hook for more at the end if she so chooses. Just a hell of a romp.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kerri (Book Hoarder)

    Hmm. I love the concept but something about this felt... rushed? That's my main thought, for now. Hmm. I love the concept but something about this felt... rushed? That's my main thought, for now.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    Always leaves me wanting more.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    An excellent portal and scifi book, about sisters and with added Kajiu!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marcus

    I really liked the idea but the ending felt a little rushed

  21. 4 out of 5

    Yulia

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zara

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

  25. 4 out of 5

    James Savenkoff

  26. 4 out of 5

    P K Morris

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miki

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darren Wilkin

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

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