Recommendation Spotlight: Unsong

Previously: Job Satisfaction, O Human Star

Humanity broke the universe during the Space Race. Since then, America collapsed, the Messiah failed, Names of God have been copyrighted, and a put-upon Archangel tries to fix the chaos.

Uriel is The Best.

Unsong is a free web serial, updating every Sunday (and occasionally on Wednesdays). The primary plot thread deals with Aaron Smith-Teller, smartass Kabbalist with ambitions of greatness, attempting to save the world with a divine Name he discovered in secret. The story is stuffed with subplots and side characters; the Archangel Uriel, cosmic sysadmin, tutors a precocious eight-year-old girl. A wizard fights a corrupt establishment with nothing but wits and the power of narrative (and mail bombs). Richard Nixon gets in over his head.

Coincidences, correspondences, and puns are central to the narrative; reality is divinely fractal, and whole chapters are dedicated to how American Pie is about the New Testament. It dovetails very well with the overarching story, too, especially in reality-shaping anagram battles. Every previous weird aside is fair game for suddenly being vital to the plot, and it’s a nearly Homestuck-level of storycrafting that looks an awful lot like surreal improvisation.

If you like Good Omens-style theological smartassery, puns, clever characters who are believably shortsighted, or the idea of Satan failing to explain his plan to a baffled angelic parliament, check out Unsong.

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