Review: The Doors You Mark Are Your Own by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement

[This is an excerpt from my review on SF Signal 4/22/15. Read the entire review here.] novels (including works of speculative fiction) are written by a single author who creates a narrator(s) to tell a particular story. It’s usually as straightforward as that.

The Doors You Mark Are Your Own, though, is not like most novels.

Before you can even get to the dystopian, post-apocalyptic story about a city ruled by a corrupt mayor who wages war in order to unite all of the other cities under his leadership, you have to wrap your head around who exactly is telling this story. The cover states that The Doors You Mark Are Your Own was written by Aleksandr Tuvim and translated from “Slovnik” into English by Okla Elliott and Raul Clement. We’re even given a “Note on the Translation” by Elliott and Clement, as well as a prologue about why this book (the first of a trilogy) was written in the first place.

Thing is, Tuvim himself is a fictional character. Elliott and Clement didn’t really translate this text- they wrote the entire thing. Now, some readers/reviewers may pass over this point, or refer to it simply as an interesting oddity, but I see it as an integral part of the story itself.


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