WEIRD FISHES by the incredible @raemariz (published by @StelliformPress) has been living in my head rent free for a while. As the protagonists’ world grows bigger and weirder, so will yours. (1/?)

I’m not a fan of the idea that reading (and especially reading SFF) extends your empathy or understanding, because this sentiment often glosses over the fact that understanding others, human or other-than-human, is hard, continuous work. Sacrifice, even, sometimes. But… (2/?)

Rae Mariz shows her characters put themselves to that huge, difficult task – and struggle with it. She shows them adjust to massive shifts in world view, and confront the ideas they had with reality. Most importantly, she shows that it is possible. (3/?)

For us, extending our understanding and finally accepting a biocentric world is, at this point, urgently necessary. We need to decenter humanity, and particularly the white, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic humanity. (4/?)

What I’m saying here isn’t revolutionary – these ideas have been floating in activist and academic circles for decades. But the big question always was how to do that. (5/?)

Rae Mariz offers a starting point. Through her lyrical, beautifully crafted tale of sea creatures and the depictions of immense variety of their lives, she shows how far curiosity and humility can take us. (6/?)

This is not a solution to the crisis we’re facing. There will be no easy answers or straight ways out of the disaster that is anthropocene and late capitalism. But it’s the work we can do, any of us, anytime. (7/?)

WEIRD FISHES reminded me that, despite the devastating news pouring in, this Earth is a vast, wondrous place, and perhaps not all is lost yet. That maybe we can hold on a little longer, and this too is worth the effort. (8/8)