As you might imagine, having recently called somebody a pussy for only wanting to crash a comet into Mars and not an entire Saturnian moon, I’ve been back at the science fiction and fantasy lately. I thought I should bring you up to speed, and if you’re seated comfortably I’ll do just that.
- “Feersum Endjinn” is the first Iain Banks book that I’ve read that was merely good. It’s an OK read, made somewhat difficult by the main character Bascule, hu toks lyk dis d ntir tym. It might even be enough to put somebody off Banks completely if it was their first exposure to his work. It’s not The Algebrist or Use Of Weapons, to be sure.
- “The Runes of the Earth”, by Stephen R. Donaldson. If you haven’t read the Thomas Covenant series, this book won’t have anything for you. If you have, it might have… just a little too much. The story is strangely timely, but the density of fact and motion in it this novel threatens to swamp the narrative, something I don’t remember from the earlier novels in the series. Still, I’ve got to say, I liked it. But if you haven’t read (and, you know, enjoyed) the first six novels in the series, don’t bother; you’ll be missing too much.
- “Spin”, by Robert Charles Wilson, is a shockingly good book. It is right up there with Altered Carbon, A Fire Upon The Deep and Eon on my list of mind-blowingly-awesome science fiction. I’m not going to tell you anything else about it, not even the central conceit, because I couldn’t do it justice in a few sentences; it is a beautiful, monstrous premise, followed through brilliantly. If you buy one book on my advice this month, it should be this one.
I’ve got “The Years Of Rice And Salt”, the first Prince Of Nothing book and Iain Banks’ “Inversions” on my side table right now. Nevertheless, if anything’s jumped out at you lately I’d like to know about it.