The Sunday Magazine: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

When it comes to reading if I can get a couple genres in one novel, I am pretty happy. In the last few years there have been a number of novels which have been a combination of Old West bank heist on a science fiction world. The latest of these to make me double my pleasure is Persephone Station by Stina Leicht.

In these types of stories instead of a one-horse town it is replaced by a planet out on the fringes of intergalactic civilization. Which is where the titular location of this novel is located. There will be a saloon for the underbelly of society. In this case it is called Monk’s Bar. Then there will be a sketchy mission. Ms. Leicht has all these elements in play.

Stina Leicht

The final piece is a cast of characters who are going to form a crew to pull off the job. One of the delightful quirks of this book is they are all women, nonbinary, or queer. It adds a different perspective to what becomes the usual banter between outlaws.

The two main characters are Rosie the owner of Monk’s who has a personal stake in the job at the heart of things. She is amoral and nonbinary which made me think about attributes I usually apply to gender when I read something like that. Rosie and the way Ms. Leicht depict her made me smile every time I paused to think about a particular phrase.

The other is a sci-fi alternate straight out of a Kurosawa movie. Angel is ex-military and all anti-establishment. Which is why she is like one of those exiled samurai of Japanese cinema. There are familiar beats to anyone who enjoys those stories. She has her own group of not exactly seven which make up the gang Rosie hires.

The story moves at a fast pace with all the typical twists, turns, double crosses, and revelations also part of this type of story. Most of my enjoyment came out of the way I considered the way I view the gender of protagonists. If you want a fun read for sitting in the sun Persephone Station is a great place to land.

Disclosure: I purchased my copy of this novel.

Mark Behnke