Two years since it was published, but, by diggedy, worth the wait.
There’s a lot to like in the 83 pages, which will satify my Reynolds habit for some time, without having to invest the amount of time necessary to read his last two novels, currently sitting unread on my shelves.
It is a properly multi-dimensional story, and it may be this complexity that is unsettling as it is not that common in a lot of SF. Kelly weaves these elements together to good effect.
This is a cracking little book which will hopefully act as an introduction to SF to some readers who would otherwise not browse the SF shelves of their bookshop or library. It also deserves a wider audience, and could well appear in one of the Year’s Best anthologies next year.
Well worth the read, and with a novella in the recent Science Fiction Book Club, Dozois edited ‘One Million AD’, Reynolds is very much pushing his telescope to its limits!
But the quibbles aside, an engrossing read and a page-turner. Reynolds latest novel, ‘Pushing Ice’ is out in hardback, although I’ll probably wait until next year for the paperback. (You would think Gollancz would supply review copies wouldn’t you?)
Cory Doctorow is feted as one of the few SF writers out there promoting the leading edge of new technology. He is a leading member of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, has written for the seminal tech mag Wired, and is one of those behind the leading blog boingboing.net He collaborated with fellow-technophile(net nerd) Charles Stross… Continue reading Cory Doctorow. Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. Tor, 2005.
Eric Brown has been writing for more than a decade, a (very) regular contributor to Interzone, and a virtually ever-present in all nine issues of Spectrum SF in the early 00’s. I certainly had felt that, how shall I put it?, that Brown was somewhat over-exposed at this point, with his Kethani/Tartarus story sequences going… Continue reading Eric Brown. Approaching Omega. Telos Publishing, 2005.
Whilst I have a suspicion that the 498 pages of the Mammoth Book of New Jules Verne Adventures may well never get read, I can confirm that the slimmer volume in hand was a most enjoyable read (concluding pun notwithstanding) in which Brown gives a convincing impersonation of M Verne. Certainly a better showpiece of Brown’s ability than his recent ‘Approaching Omega’
A mellow, mature consideration of what it is to be human, which doubtless Aldiss, now in his eighties, feels can be done from the perspective of experience, rather than plot devices involving far-future forest worlds or generation starships.
Over the past fortnight I’ve been indulging myself with Alastair Reynolds fourth novel ‘Absolution Gap’ – including a memorable 2hr session with three 10% abv Belgian beers in my favourite watering-hole – ‘tWildeman in Amsterdam. Before I start with my review of ‘Absolution Gap’, a some background information is necessary! And please note that there… Continue reading Alastair Reynolds. Absolution Gap. Gollancz, 2005.
Gentle’s novel ‘Ash’ published in two volumes in the USA, but as a singleton in the UK, has rightly garnered a lot of praise. I don’t read many novels, but was minded to read this one, and did not regret that decision. I was hugely impressed at the way Gentle played with the idea of… Continue reading Mary Gentle. Under the Penitence. PS Publishing, 2004.
Prolific British SF writer Stephen Baxter has an increasingly impressive body of work to his name, including a variety of singleton novels, and several novel sequences, and a lot of short stories. It is pleasant to see a writer being able to keep such a breadth in their content and format of writing – it… Continue reading Stephen Baxter. Mayflower II. PS Publishing 2004
Greenwood creates an alternate England : one in which the sun has not set on our Empire, one in which Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ was a biography, and one in which the attempted invasion by Martians envisaged by HG Wells’ did actually happen. The Jigsaw Men are those created or given life after death through the… Continue reading Gary Greenwood. Jigsaw Men. (PS Publishing, 2004).
So, a resounding recommendation from me on this one, with PS Publishing continuing their strong run of form. Read it and weep.
This story had been waiting to be read for some time. The size and weight of the book made take it on my daily commute impossible, and so it was put in the pile for ‘reading at home’. This is not something that I manage to do too often, due to any number of distractions.… Continue reading Peter F. Hamilton. Watching Trees Grow. (PS Publishing 2002)
Richard Calder’s purple (at times turgidly so) prose featured regularly in UK magazine Interzone with several lengthy, linked stories appearing in a number of issues. Those stories were fixed-up into the novel ‘Lord Soho’, and, if the letters page of the magazine were anything to go by, divided readers into two camps – those who… Continue reading Richard Calder. The Twist. (Four Walls Eight Windows 2003)
There is more invention in this short story than I have come across in a long, long time. A shoo-in for the next Year’s Best collections.
The ending sees her and her lover facing up to the alien challenge and in fact embracing it, and from their own strength rebuilding that which had been taken from them, building a new, very new!, future for themselves and for humanity.
‘Making History’ is a more thoughtful, human story than others in the sequence, although does suffer slightly as being more of a sequence, and quite possible, the foundation for a novelisation. The ending leaves plenty of scope for future developments.
Stirring stuff, with the ending, in which the two humans stand there helpless, almost reaching the peaks of Arthur C Clarke (one to whom Baxter is often compared).
A bit of a head-scratcher to be honest, as the story is some way below the standard of other published by PS Publishing.
All in all a story which is at times quite powerful and grittily believable, although I think the story could have benefitted from greater length.
Thsi classy paperback (David Hardy artwork) reeks of class.
A slight volume, but (especially so for those living or working in London) a disturbing, vivid one.
Quite a different story to the two mentioned above, with a vivid image providing an unsettling backdrop to the human reaction to the event being portrayed.