The Circus Infinite: Found family in an extravagant science fantasy

The Circus Infinite
A circus takes on a crime-boss on an infamous pleasure moon

by: Khan Wong

This came up in my ARC list recently. First off, it’s published by Angry Robot. If you don’t know Angry Robot, they describe themselves as seeking to ‘find and give a platform to new voices and new stories that push the boundaries of genre fiction, mess them about, and put them back together again in all kinds of awesome ways – we like to think of ourselves as “genrefluid”.’

When it comes to traditionally published novels, if I’m reading it, there’s a good chance it’s an Angry Robot book.

The Circus Infinite offers up one of the finest found family stories I’ve read in a while – and I love me some found family. It’s an epic tale filled with flawed and adorable characters set in an exquisitely imagined universe.

Jes is a fugitive who hasn’t known love – or even kindness – since his grandparents died when he was a child. He escapes from a mysterious institution, where he’d been studied, tortured, and experimented on and makes his way to the one place he assumes his captors won’t think to look for a sex-repulsed asexual: a seedy pleasure moon in the furthest reaches of the known galaxy.

I suspect the author won’t mind when I say this is an eleganza extravaganza of an adventure that is, by turn, chilling, heartwarming, infuriating, and affirming.

This science fantasy novel explores the nuances of consent and acceptance through the medium of a compelling and unconventional story. 

The plot does meander a bit in the middle. But I can forgive that when the characters are as wonderful as Jes, Bo, Esmee, Essa, Quint, and the gang.

Think A Closed and Common Orbit crashes headlong into Space Unicorn Blues with a little sprinkling of The Android’s Dream for good measure.

I received an advance review copy via Queer Sci-Fi for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *