An invasion of benevolent space-alien entity called The Seep turns Earth into a Utopia. But after her partner decides to become a baby again in order to relive her life, fifty-year-old trans woman Trina FastHorse Goldberg-Oneka becomes suspicious of The Seep and sets out on a quest that will change her life.
The feeling of losing something and being unable to move on, both a literal person and a way of life, comes through with powerful clarity ... Trina also skillfully articulates the tension between building solidarity around difference and a liberal collapse or erasure of difference. While the ethical and political context behind this argument is deliciously complicated, and always requires individual effort for critical engagement, Porter’s protagonist makes it real to us through the body and relationships ... Structurally, though, The Seep is not necessarily a total success. The third and final section of the novel feels underdeveloped ... The book itself reads more as a novella or otherwise-luxurious piece of short fiction, lacking enough of the flesh that might stabilize its deeply interesting, thoughtful bones. With Trina’s personal revelation and the rescue of the Compound boy at the conclusion, the threads are all tied-off neatly but, to extend the metaphor, perhaps with a handful of dropped stitches preceding ... Despite the sense of unfinished or unrealized narrative space, which I did leave the book itching over, the emotional and thematic sketches Porter draws in her strange soft-apocalypse future also fill up the reader’s brain for later perusal. The simplicity of her work is delightfully deceptive ... Trina is a refreshing protagonist, radiating the calm steadiness of an older queer woman even through her own progressive breakdown and her disillusionment with the Seep’s changing world ... contains gorgeous ideas and images in conflict, as well as in concert, that are worth carrying out of the text to admire further: who are we, and what are our bodies, made up as they are of experiences and histories?
This surreal debut takes on themes of utopia, identity, love, and loss, while readers are pulled into a full experience through Porter's fluid prose. This unusual story will linger long past the last page.