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The Monster She Wrote Podcast

Jul 14, 2020

Margaret St. Clair’s Sign of the Labrys takes place in a future United States of America, though the government seems to have fallen, after a yeast pandemic killed a majority of the population. What is left of the country has gone into a kind of subterranean quarantine, and society is fractured, as people are afraid to be too close to one another, for fear of spreading the germ. The quarantine has gone on for so long, that people have grown accustomed to being alone and now prefer it to any kind of human contact. This is the storyworld that readers are introduced to, as they meet the protagonist, Sam Sewell, a man living and working in underground levels, meant to keep people safe but apart. Imagine his horror and surprise when he finds that someone has invaded his space, leaving messages and clues in his home “pod” and attracting the attention of an FBY agent. His journey to discover who is trying to contact him leads him deeper into the ground, level by level, into a world of danger--and of magic. 

Recommended reading: Justina Ireland's Dread Nation, Vivien Chien's Noodleshop series, and Julia Fine's What Should Be Wild