The Annual Migration of Clouds
Don't sleep on Premee Mohamed. She's a fun twitter follow, a realistic voice about writing and publishing, and both her short stories and her novels are delicious. Well, maybe I wouldn't recommend actually eating this one--you might end up with a fungal parasite that may or may not control your mind by inflicting horrific pain on you when you disobey (or, perhaps, more subtle methods).
I loved ANNUAL MIGRATION's setting: a defunct university converted into a cooperative community with a small-town feel where folks live in abandoned offices in old halls that have held up to climate change weather. The university feels a bit symbolic of the fall of Western civilization with our BioSci and our Library and our Admin, all hubristic and decaying. And the silent, cold prairie that is locked in a drought by climate change is weirdly frightening.
Mohamed does horror well, or at least that's what the horror award committees say. I myself have hesitated to read all her books, because I'm delicate and horror isn't always my favorite. ANNUAL MIGRATION is literary, though, and although there is horror in it--terrifying animals, mind invasion, a freezing drought, a great unknown outside a small sphere of claustrophobic society--on the whole this is a family drama, a coming of age story. It's not an easy one. There's no simple conclusion to difficult relationships, no answers that feel like good answers. Which is how it feels to be an adult, after all--to feel like this and have the courage to face it.
I listened to this on audio, which was fine, but I actually wonder if I would have like to read it on paper, given the way some of the internal monologue/dialogue is structured. You'll like the audio, though.