The Perihelion by D.M. Wozniak is literary, character-driven science fiction at its best. Set in 2069, The Perihelion comprises a world where there are hybrid humans with 1% animal or insect DNA, called 99ers. The novel follows the lives of six different characters in an approaching apocalypse, the Perihelion: “The point in the path of a celestial body that is nearest to the sun,” in which the world is melting down both physically and mentally. This is an epic, uniquely inventive novel about big ideas that should hopefully get a lot of attention.
An apocalyptic scenario sounds like well-trodden terrain, but it’s a testament to Wozniak’s inventiveness that his apocalypse seems like something entirely new. Six characters and a complex future-world is a lot for Wozniak to juggle as well, but he pulls it off admirably – making each character equally vibrant and their stories intersect in surprising and satisfying ways.
Unfortunately, the cover, though nicely done for a certain type of book, isn’t really evocative of what this book is all about. Certainly, the novel veers towards the literary end of sci-fi, but sci-fi it is, and the presentation could potentially make it get lost in the cracks, which would be a shame. Additionally, the novel is at times too reliant on dialogue. Overall, this is a hidden gem that deserves to be read. It’s fanciful, but plausible – a strange, complex and rewarding read.