eBook, 128 pages

English language

Published by Subterranean Press.

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4 stars (3 reviews)

Basit Deniau’s houses were haunted to begin with.

A house embedded with an artificial intelligence is a common thing: a house that is an artificial intelligence, infused in every load-bearing beam and fine marble tile with a thinking creature that is not human? That is something else altogether. But now Deniau’s been dead a year, and Rose House is locked up tight, as commanded by the architect’s will: all his possessions and files and sketches are confined in its archives, and their only keeper is Rose House itself. Rose House, and one other.

Dr. Selene Gisil, one of Deniau’s former protégé, is permitted to come into Rose House once a year. She alone may open Rose House’s vaults, look at drawings and art, talk with Rose House’s animating intelligence all she likes. Until this week, Dr. Gisil was the only person whom Rose House spoke to.

But even an animate …

2 editions

reviewed Rose/House by Arkady Martine


4 stars

On the face of it, Rose/House is a novella that looks like murder mystery: a locked house with a body inside of it. Rose House is the last architectural masterpiece of the late Basit Deniau, with an AI inside controlling/haunting it. Deniau's will stipulates that Selene Gisil is the only person allowed in, and even then she is only allowed in for seven days a year. The local police enlist her to try to get in and investigate this murder.  This book dabbles in mystery noir pastiche but its heart feels more like gothic horror.

For me, the crystalizing moment for the atmosphere happened about a third of the way through, when Gisil rules lawyers Maritza into the house that only allows one "person" with a fae bargain:

“Maritza, are you a person or are you the China Lake Precinct? The distinction is significant.” [..].

“I’m the China Lake Precinct …

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4 stars