Sunday, March 22, 2009

Science Fiction 13 – Hand, Harrison, Henneberg & Harness

It was Elizabeth Hand’s novel Winterlong that introduced me to her work. It’s an exotic, ornately written tale set in a future decadent society. I enjoyed the trilogy, though I must admit it seemed to end rather abruptly, or inconclusively to my mind.

Its sequels are Aestival Tide and Icarus Descending.

hand_winterlong hand_aestival hand_icarus

M John Harrison’s Viriconium Stories are well regarded and I have to agree. I loved Pastel City and Storm of Wings.

harrison_pastelcity harrison_storm

Other books set in the same locale are Viriconium Nights and The Floating Gods

harrison_nights harrison_gods

A few more stray H authors…

Though I can’t remember much about The Ring of Ritornel by Charles Harness, I have vague memories of quite liking it. Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale is more fantasy than Science Fiction and has endured as well loved urban fantasy of New York.

harness_ritornel helprin_winterstale

And finally The Green Gods by N C Henneberg – an exotic A Merritt style story wherein plants go to war against men. The cover art is by old favorite Don Maitz


Next – Gwyneth Jones

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Science Fiction 12 – Kathleen Ann Goonan, Stuart Gordon and Robert Graves

This morning I just finished rereading Kathleen Ann Goonan’s The Bones of Time, a futuristic novel set in Hawaii. It’s not a bad read at all, with an interesting plot, likable characters and dealing with nanotechnology, which I admit fascinates me. Queen City Jazz was her first novel and also features nanotech. I recently reread it and enjoyed it very much. I intend to seek out its sequels Mississippi Blues, Crescent City Rhapsody and Light Music.

goonan_queen city goonan_bones

Jeff VanderMeer recommended The Smile on the Void by Stuart Gordon, though unfortunately I can’t remember much about it. It’s been a while since I read it. I do remember when I ordered it from Alibris it was just before 9/11 and its delivery was delayed for several weeks.


Another curiosity is Robert Graves Seven Days in New Crete, which is described on the cover blurb as “a classic science fantasy novel of a future civilization doomed by its own sterile virtue”. I can’t remember if I’ve ever read it.


That’s it for authors whose names begin with G.

Next will be Elizabeth Hand and M John Harrison

Science Fiction 11 – William Gibson

Even though I would like to say that I discovered William Gibson when Neuromancer was first published in 1984, it was not until 1992 that he came to my notice. After that there was no looking back and I have assiduously collected his books ever since. If I recall, it was seeing a short Cyberpunk Documentary, that inspired me to seek out his books. It was love at first read. William Gibson has since then become one of my favorite writers, and I regard him up there with Whittemore, Crowley and Peake as a masterful writer - a prose stylist of the first order.

So here’s my complete Gibson collection in various editions, mostly paperback.

Firstly, Burning Chrome and the Sprawl Trilogy

gibson_chrome gibson_neuromancer
gibson_countzero gibson_monalisa

The Bridge Trilogy

gibson_virtual_light gibson_idoru


Pattern Recognition & Spook Country – Hard Cover First Editions

gibson_pattern gibson_spookcountry

Next – Goonan, Gordon and Graves.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Science Fiction 10 – Effinger, Fowler and Gaskell

I have been shamefully remiss in adding new posts to this blog, but I will endeavour to keep it going. After all, I have a ton of books scanned ready to be displayed, so I have no excuses for dragging my feet.

Anyway, tonight for your delectation a few authors whose names begin with E, F or G.

First up, George Alec Effinger’s rather odd, but as I recall it, enjoyable novel The Wolves of Memory.


Karen Joy Fowler has become, over the last few years a celebrated fiction writer, after her novel The Jane Austen Book Club became a bestseller. However, early in her career she wrote the totally delightful collection of science fiction stories Artificial Things.

And finally for this entry – Jane Gaskell. She is famous for writing Strange Evil which China Mieville lists as one of his top 10 examples of weird fiction. She wrote the novel when she was 14.


She also went on to write other books, sort of heroic fiction ala Tanith Lee, though Jane Gaskell’s were published a decade before Lee’s.

gaskell_atlan gaskell_city
gaskell_kingsdaughter gaskell_serpent


Coming next – William Gibson