Kim Stanley Robinson novels are never about only one thing, so when he addresses a familiar SF trope or subgenre, you can expect matters to get slippery. He interrogates and unpacks assumptions, asks previously unasked questions, and often rethinks the mode of storytelling itself.
Archive for July, 2015
George Zebrowski published three books from 1977 through 1983 which were collected in that latter year as The Omega Point Trilogy. Together, I think, they constitute one of the highpoints of that era in our genre, a late-period exfoliation of recomplicated Golden Age space opera, and should be properly invested as such.
Most readers will recognize the furniture in Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. You’ve read this book a billion times if you’ve read it once. Except, of course, you haven’t. While the individual trees look familiar, Novik’s is a whole new forest. Part of this due to Novik’s mad writing skill.
Self/less has several significant virtues: it is fast-paced and involving; it is unpredictable; it features excellent performances by an actor expected to provide them (Ben Kingsley) and an actor not expected to provide them (Ryan Reynolds); and its science-fictional premise, while not without questionable aspects, is developed with unusual care and consistency. However, director Tarsem Singh and screenwriters David Pastor and Alex Pastor were obliged to weaken their story by reducing a complex scenario to a simplistic morality tale and adding a modicum of gratuitous violence.
This month brings another early contender for the title of Best Collection of the Year, Frost on Glass by Ian R. MacLeod, a collection of 11 stories and copious interstitial material (forewords, afterwords, and autobiographical non-fiction pieces), mixing science fiction, fantasy, and harder-to-classify slipstreamish stuff.