The Future is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente

  • Author: Catherynne M. Valente
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press
  • Publication Date: July 2018


The future is blue. It is now. It is, or rather was, the past. Today it is blue. Perhaps #416ec6. Do you know what else the future is? It is beasts roaming around like dinosaurs who can’t see a comet spiraling toward them. It is a place where robots fight it out with fairies. Where green lions who mate in threes eat the past of their victims. In a word, the future is stories.

Have you ever seen a Picasso? Perhaps Pablo? You might have heard of the many stages he went through in his painting career. The blue period. The rose period. And, ah yes, the Cubism period. The “WHAT THE ACTUAL -this word has been omitted because it is not in agreement with Article 54TDelta.32- IS THIIIIIS?” period. The Future is Blue is the Blue Period. It is the man shaped like a backwards S holding a guitar. It is the Rose period. Where things are said the way they are meant. It is a jester standing tall in a red two-piece uniform. And yes, it is Cubism.

Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. Sometimes they aren’t always in that order. Sometimes the beginnings are ever-so quick that we end up falling down a rabbit hole (or a sewer as they call them in New York) trying to catch one. Or perhaps the end has long left Kensington Gardens, and you really should wipe that sparkling dust out of your hair. Cthulhu is in the future, too. Passing gas like the old fart he is. Someone ought to usurp him by now. Regardless of where the pieces are and how big or small they may be, the stories of the future have become the stories of today.

And like a Cubism painting, sometimes the eyes are sort of in the right spot. The mouth is there, but it shouldn’t be there. The future is all of the colors of love and all of their meanings. It is imprisoning. It is “I can’t stand the sight of you.” It can be both. The future is as blue as the saddest song–one girls who are buildings with no eyes learned from songbirds long gone. It is as blue as a peaceful sip of your favorite tea in a chipped YOU’RE MY MAINE SQUEEZE mug. It is as captivating as deep blue waters in September.

The future is everything. Yet not everything in the future will be for everyone. It is hurt and sorrows that we swear we eliminated. It is joy. It is the ten most powerful words one could ever know. Perhaps they are in a logical order like a “proper” story, leading the reader down a nice path. Or perhaps they choose to behave more like poetry in disguise. A commentary on human emotion. On the weather. On, my that is a lovely #2959a5 dress you have on today. In a word, the future is blue.

[I was given a digital ARC of this future book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

P.S., Just in case anyone else was thinking it, too: Da ba dee da ba dye.

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