The Outside by Ada Hoffman is a sci-if standalone novel about an autistic scientist, AI gods, and the monsters beyond the universe. I don’t want to spoil too much of the story here, the Goodreads blurb actually covers about 25% of the book, and I don’t want to ruin the fun.
I walked into this story complete blind, and I would have been disappointed if I had read the blurb before, it just reveals too much of the story.
In about 400 pages, the book not only tells us a satisfying sci-fi story, but touches upon a ton of philosophical questions in the process. How is a god defined? Being beyond space-time with incomprehensible desires and powers? Or maybe beings of this world, with the capacity to lay our souls to rest? How does one make a choice, when all outcomes are equally bad? If reality is a construct, does anything actually matter?
It was a really engaging read, though I might add that some readers might be disappointed by the ending. For the readers with a strong need for closure, and maybe those who prefer a clear distinction between good and bad, this might not be the best choice.