An antediluvian thriller; an eco-disaster; a devastating love story; a conspiracy; a zoological dystopia. Speculative fiction is nothing without a beating heart, something real and human (or animal) at stake, and Water & Glass has this in boatloads. On every page Curtis combines a poet’s eye for the perfect, resonant detail with a blockbuster’s suspense and delivery on story. All the better that a large part of the narrative is facilitated by a woolly rat with a GoPro. As beautifully surreal and symbolic as it gets, there’s something unshakeably, alarmingly plausible about this novel and its dramatisation of the next century: what we stand to lose and what may already be too late to save. An urgent, gorgeously written debut. – Luke Kennard, author of The Transition
This mapping of personal and psychological journeys onto a physical one would be impressive all by itself. But Curtis has two other tricks up her sleeve, or in one case, hiding in the walls…There’s a completely functional and immensely fun version of this story that puts it solidly in the Hunger Games/Limetown bracket of ‘tough heroic female lead discovers something terrible and vows to defeat it.’ I love stories like those, especially when they’re folded into this kind of post-apocalyptic subset of fiction. But what Curtis does here is untidier, harder to achieve, newer and ultimately more rewarding…The world has changed. And the choice that everyone now faces is to go along for the journey, making it its own reward and keeping to the old ways, or to stop and make something with where they stand…The fact there is no right answer here proves this is something more than an off the shelf dystopia. It’s a story, fundamentally, where everyone is the hero…Water & Glass is a gentle, determined, and unblinking look at the horrors of grief and what it stops us feeling… It’s complex, compassionate, and humane, quite at home in the ambiguous waters between dystopia and utopia. – Alasdair Stuart, Anglia Ruskin Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy, ‘Shadow Judge’ for Arthur C Clarke Award .
This work is wonderfully crafted. The tale gradually reveals a bigger picture as we go through, like a scratch card or jigsaw puzzle. The characters are engaging, real and interesting. The setting lends a sense of drama and claustrophobia…There is something genuinely compelling and attractive about the best post apocalyptic fiction. This book has at its core a sincerity I’ve only really felt in Nevil Shute’s On the Beach…Under the surface this is a layered work where the subtext is as much a part of the tale as the narrative itself. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it highly. – James Donald, The BookBag
This beautifully crafted and eerily claustrophobic novel is an astounding, gripping and urgent read that shows how speculative dystopias should be done – Waterstones staff recommendation.
This author’s imagination is both inventive and compassionate. Water and Glass is a dystopian literary novel that is about relationships, what might be worth holding on to in our threatened future, and the ways we all see the world differently. That includes, I’m pleased to say, the non-human world… It makes us ask those important questions of how much more deeply we need to think about the shared habitats of our world. There are beautiful passages in the novel — you can tell Curtis is also a poet — and both the description and narrative are presented in a way to heighten the tragic force of the story…It’s not polemical in any way, but how can you read books such as these and not ask if we’re doing enough now to look after our common future. – Alex Lockwood on Amazon and Goodreads