The best book that I read in October was Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt (the latest title from And Other Stories, publishers of Deborah Levy’s Booker-shortlisted Swimming Home). It’s a disturbing but superbly realised study of how language and thought can be manipulated to make something abhorrent start to seem reasonable.

Harry Karlinsky’s debut novel, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects, is a biography of a fictitious historical character — Thomas Darwin, youngest child of Charles, who thought he could apply his father’s theories to artefacts. It’s a playful mixture of fact and fiction, a poignant character study, and a reflection on science. I reviewed it for Strange Horizons.

More reviews from October:

…and I continued my story-by-story review of Roelof Bakker’s anthology Still.

In features: