Mar 082017

Cover for At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson.School Library Connection: Shaun David Hutchinson has a real knack for devising a quirky, intriguing premise and crafting vivid characters to populate his stories. The universe is shrinking rapidly, but Ozzie is the only one who has noticed. He’s also the only one to notice the unexplainable disappearance of his boyfriend, Tommy. Ozzie has theories for how this has happened, but his family, friends, and psychiatrists all believe he is out of his mind. Only Calvin, Ozzie’s assigned partner for a physics project, believes him. Ozzie must cope with the complexities of navigating strained relationships, making postsecondary plans, and dealing with his guilt for beginning to forget Tommy. The large cast of characters allows for representation of many topics—including gender fluidity, sexual identity, and abuse—though at times the narrative feels a bit crowded. Despite anticipation of a true science fiction resolution, many events reveal themselves as mere figments of Ozzie’s emotionally-addled imagination. Regardless, the myriad of diverse characters and suspense of the universe’s impending collapse lend momentum to the twisting narrative, while Hutchinson’s indulgent prose perfectly captures the essence of a coming-of-age tale.