Radiance, by Catherynne M. ValenteRead about the other entries on the list.
Radiance weaves so many subgenres into its delicate web, it’s almost literally head-spinning. To briefly sum up its appeal, however, let us say it’s a decopunk space opera noir that glorifies an alternate Golden Age of Hollywood, maintains a complicated mystery, and does it all in epistolary format. The enigma at the heart of this celestial narrative is the disappearance of upstart docu-director Severin Unck, darling daughter of a legendary filmmaker, while shooting her latest film near Venus. While what happened to Severin is the core of this story, it is by no means the most interesting element. You unwrap the mystery layer by layer, as you learn just how life led her to that distant planet to begin with, exploring decades of wildly alternate cinema history along the way.
Radiance is among Jeff Somers's seven best books that explore the dark side of the Moon.