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Interesting Facts about Space

by Emily Austin

Emily Austin (Bridget Forberg)

Interesting Facts about Space, the sophomore novel from Emily Austin (Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead), orbits Enid, an information architect at the Canadian Space Agency, who – true to the book’s title – shares interesting facts about space, most often with her mother. In addition to being a treasure trove of space trivia, Enid enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, having casual sex, and interacting with as few people as possible. Enid does not enjoy seeing bald men, discovering that her lovers are married, or the awkward relationship she has with her half-sisters, despite her best attempts to reconnect with them. 

Enid is, to borrow a space metaphor, Uranus: she is often blue; she admits to harbouring a dark side; she is cold and distant to both her co-workers and her lovers; and she rotates differently than her peers, mostly due to unhealthy levels of paranoia induced by the true crime podcasts she binges on – though being deaf in one ear also doesn’t help. 

For the most part, Enid is content with her solitary existence, but now and then, she has bouts of self-loathing that make her wish she was a different person. Then she finds out that her new neighbour is a bald man. And that, unbeknownst to her, a recent lover actually cheated on her wife with Enid. She also discovers she may be the object of a stalker. And that the project she has been developing at work is riddled with a bug – much like the one Enid suspects has infiltrated her brain to make it prone to suspicion, over-thinking, and self-hate.

Enid’s world is thrown off its axis and she must discover how to ask her loved ones for help and overcome her fears before she steers herself into a metaphorical black hole.

Told in brief vignettes from Enid’s point of view, Interesting Facts about Space is a spellbinding story about confronting all the messy, imperfect parts of yourself instead of looking away from them. In Enid, Emily Austin creates a complex and sympathetic character whose journey is about learning to be vigilant but not paranoid, self-aware without tipping into self-loathing, and finding a way to be a private person but not an isolated one. Interesting Facts about Space does indeed impart some interesting facts about the cosmos but, more importantly, it shows anyone who feels like they’re floating all alone in the universe that they are part of – and can rely on – an entire solar system.


Reviewer: Zeahaa Rehman

Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Canada


Price: $36.99

Page Count: 320 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 978-1-66801-423-3

Released: Jan.

Issue Date: February 2024

Categories: Fiction: Novels, Reviews