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M. Craig’s debut novel is a coming of age tale for those who have always known they were a little different. Follow Sim as she discovers the Bikeway Narrows, an abandoned industrial neighborhood populated by questers and magic-weavers, bikers and coffee shop denizens who are looking to escape the oppressive city of Terresin. In this magical world plagued by inequality, greed and environmental woes, Sim must hold her own with her fearless and often dominating new friends while coming to terms with her sexuality and accepting her latent magical abilities. The Narrows is an engrossing work of fiction that combines fantasy, philosophy and spirituality in an exploration of what it means to be yourself.
"The Narrows is a queer cycling steampunk tour de force!" - M. Schuner
"With dashes of steampunk (brass goggles, leather pouches, carriages), some old-school magic (magic dust, wands, the occasional fairy or dragon), and plenty of the difficulties faced by an early-twenties woman in a big new city, Craig's book is already a complex undertaking.The meat of the novel, however, lies in its allegorical social commentary, taking a look at the ramifications of corporate takeover in terms of environmental and political impact. Factories spewing toxic, black magic byproducts are run by an exploited dwarf population, a race whose rights are consistently ignored by the government. There is an aggressive population of soldiers that monitors the Narrows to keep an eye on the myriad things that have become illegal. (Beer-brewing, for instance, has been forbidden and bears a punishment of lifetime in jail.)
Truly on her own, Sim now has an opportunity to grow in an understanding of her own identity. A new friend, known simply as Wood, brings Sim's sexuality to the forefront of her mind and she begins to explore who she is, what she wants, in the context of a world (sadly not unlike our own) in which homosexuality can bear the heavy consequences of discrimination and hate crimes." - Review from Conceptual Reception
"Craig manages a few suspense-filled, page turning moments, which, more impressively, aren’t relegated to combat scenes. With magical gadgets, grueling training sessions, and forbidden loves, curious scenarios propel the narrative forward amidst the continuous exposition necessary to a novel about a fantasy world." - Review from For Books' Sake