The astounding power and mystery contained within that thing named "language" is at the center of Karin Tidbeck's debut novel, Amatka.
Vanja has been sent to the frigid outpost of Amatka, a repressive, Soviet-like colony on a nameless planet, where she is expected to conduct market research into the colony’s personal hygiene products. At first, Vanja tries to stay on task, but the barely contained strangeness lurking just beyond Amatka's repressive bureaucracy becomes too compelling for her to ignore: why do everyday objects melt into goo if they aren’t constantly being “marked” and named? Why does the lake freeze and thaw every night? And, what is that skin cream *really* made out of?
Highly enjoyable, and recommended for fans of philosophical, thought-provoking, and weird science fiction.