Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

We were all surprised when the vuvv landed the first time.  We were just glad they weren’t invading.  We couldn’t believe our luck when they offered us their tech and invited us to be part of their Interspecies Co-Prosperity Alliance. 

Several years on, jobs are scarce due to the rise of alien tech and there’s no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine.  Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, must get creative to survive.  Since the vuvv crave “classic” Earth culture, recording 1950s-style dates for them to view seems like a brilliant idea.

But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to murmur sweet nothings when they hate each other more with every episode.  Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go – and what he’s willing to sacrifice. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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Symphony For The City Of The Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

In September of 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history – two and a half years of bombardment and starvation.  More than a million citizens perished.  Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, the relatives of the dead having neither the means nor the strength to bury them.  Desperate citizens burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and – eventually – even one another to stay alive.

Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogised, and commemorated his fellow citizens – the Leningrad Symphony.  This testament of courage was copied onto microfilm, driven across the Middle East, and flown over the deserts of North Africa to be performed in the United States – where it played a surprising role in strengthening the Grand Alliance against the Axis powers. 

This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds.  It is also a look at the power – and layered meaning – of music in beleaguered lives. 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

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