This is a review I wrote quite a while back forA Sorcerer’s Treason, the first book in the Isavalta Trilogy by Sarah Zettel, and labels it as ‘readable, enjoyable, run-of-the-mill Fantasy’ – if this sounds like your kind of thing then you’re well served with this series indeed.
Here are my thoughts on Shikasta, the first book in Doris Lessing’s “Canopus in Argos” sequence, a very ambitious work taking in pre- and world history, origins and future of humanity; but also covering origin and failing of all major religions, human sociology and its failings, politics, ecology; and builds it all into a cosmological framework to make sense of who we are, and what we do. Sprawling, impressive, but not always easy to read.
The rather large cover image is here to covey the full title of the book, which (with the styling of the cover) conveys some of the content and styling of the story:
Doris Lessing Canopus in Argos: Archives Re: Colonised Planet 5 Shikasta Personal Psychological Historical Documents Relating to Visit by Johor (George Sherban) Emissary (Grade 9) 87th of the Last Period of the Last Days
This is a review of Radon Daughters by Iain Sinclair, a “mad trip through the underbelly of East London to Oxford, Cambridge, and beyond” , as I think, or “a voyage between art and terror, from the Mound of Whitechapel to the limestone pavements of the Burren” as Vintage has it…
A welcome breath of fresh ideas, a master of language, and a highly recommended book, if you ask me!
I found Empire of Bones, Liz Williams' third published book, well written, engrossing, and steeped in Indian culture and the politics of caste, which makes for a welcome change, and adds some exotic flavour to the seeding/galactic guidance/’Childhood’s End’ style plot.
A short review of Crystal Express, a collection of early short stories by Bruce Sterling, which turned out to be, not surprisingly, a mixed bunch, ranging from fascinating extra stories in the Shaper/Mechanist Universe, through some run-of-the-mill SF, to slightly unconvincing attempts at Fantasy. Overall quite readable, but non-essential, unless you’re hooked on Mechanist/Shaper stories, or Bruce Sterling in general.
Here's a a short review of Dark Light, the 2nd book in Ken MacLeod’s Engines of Light series – a classic intermediate chapter building the setting for the final instalment whilst re-visiting a load of old-Earth politics, leading to a classic clash of Philosophies and Ideologies, with the usual violent results for the local civilization.
The book picks up where the first one left the story – or, actually, it picks it up a light speed journey later, which means a lot of time has passed in the Universe, but none for the travelling protagonists. And, as they are at the event horizon of their event cone, it could as well have been an instantaneous transition, as Matt Cairns, the old Cosmonaut from Earth finds (his internal clock is still on 2049 plus the years he’s lived. Never mind a few centuries passing whilst travelling at the speed of light!).