Open Your Eyes by Paul Jessup
Her lover was a supernova who took worlds with him when he died, and as a new world grows within Ekhi, savage lives rage and love on a small ship in the outer reaches of space. A ship with an agenda of its own.
Critically acclaimed author of weird fiction Paul Jessup sends puppets to speak and fight for their masters while a linguistic virus eats through the minds of a group of scavengers in Open Your Eyes, a surrealist space opera of haunting beauty and infinite darkness.
Reading Open Your Eyes is something of a mystical experience. Like all of Apex's books, it has a pervading darkness to it, but it also has a hard kind of hope.
As the reader, you are pulled into a world utterly unlike our own, and pulled relentlessly through a series of complicated and confusing events. Jessup's talent is obvious in that, while explaining nothing, he can still make you care. And you will care about these characters. Enough to fear for them and wish that things would become easier for them.
However, it can't be easier, for the characters or the reader. Open Your Eyes is a cathartic experience, plunging through space and time, the human psyche, and the nature of intelligence in all its forms. It calls on us to face problems bigger than ourselves, problems and stories that are almost beyond our ken. All of this in an exquisite novella, short but haunting.
This is not an easy-going read, but one that is essential for fans of space opera that want something truly different. Mind-altering, even.