Borealis Open Access

Bradford, Maya (2016)

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Borealis is a post-apocalyptic novel that explores the lives of multiple characters suffering from a disease known as "the Sleep". The Sleep manifests differently in everyone, most commonly causing people to sleep for days, weeks, even years at a time. For some of the characters their dreams are heaven. For others, they abuse a drug called Everwake in order to stave off the hell their nightmares bring. For most it is simply a fact of life. For the duration of the novel, the main characters find themselves in or nearby a commune run by a cruel woman named Mare Ryu and a man named Torres, a self-loathing lucid dreamer. In the commune is the leech house, a home separated from the rest where the undesirables, or "leeches" are sent to eventually starve given that the rest of the commune neglects them. Here live a bitter, ill man named Hammond and an old woman named Asha. Arriving to the commune in the story's beginning are Lune, a young man trapped in the body of a child, and Sophia, his controlling mother, followed by Malt and Osiris, a mute woman who suffers persistent psychosis caused by the Sleep and her service dog. In a ship in the cove near the commune live Sunny and Nien, two friends struggling with past trauma, their relationship with each other and their relationship with a dead woman named Anette who knows more about the world than either of them. In the middle of it all is an enigmatic entity called the Sparrow, which composes part the cult beliefs of the people of the commune. Their motivations differing wildly, these characters come and clash together, discovering more about themselves and each other than they could have originally imagined.

Table of Contents

1. Umbra. 1

2. Rainless. 26

3. Lune's Dream. 54

4. Messiah. 58

5. Forgive Me. 89

6. Love Me to the Bone. 94

7. Gas Flame. 119

8. Mother Dragon. 172

9. Soleil. 188

10. Calavera. 218

11. Psychopomp. 236

12. You Never Know. 247

13. Shibboleth. 261

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