April’s reading

This month’s report feels a bit on the paltry side, but that’s mainly down to struggling through one  long book. Ah well. More diversity next time, promise.

Novels

Kraken by China Mieville – I don’t seem to engage well with Mieville’s prose. There was lots to enjoy in this novel – the love of the esoterica of London, for one, the endlessly inventive wacky cults for another. The characters were memorable – Collingswood, was fab; Goss and Subby truly creepy. But in the end I felt that I was fighting against the style all the way through this long story.

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett – always enjoy a bit of Pratchett. Throw in his take on football and bigotry, and you get that trademark combination of Pratchett humour and wisdom. Nice one.

Shorts

The Silver Wind by Nina Allan (Interzone 233). A long story from Allan this time, ruminating on time travel and the dangers of chasing an alternate past. It’s a great story, replete with Allan’s careful telling and original perspective on familiar tropes.

Tell Me Everything by Chris Butler (Interzone 233). Fascinating and atmospheric short piece set in a society built up around the spores that humans emit, and what happens when a non-emitting person is introduced to the complex hierarchy. Would love to see this expanded to a longer length.

Hector Douglas Makes A Sale by Ian R MacLeod. Picked this standalone story up at the PS Publishing table at Eastercon and read it on the journey home. A sort of companion piece to MacLeod’s forthcoming novel, Wake Up And Dream, there’s a lovely sense of wistful Americana to this that’s reminiscent of Rod Serling or Jonathan Carroll. Very different from the MacLeod I’m familiar with, but no less engaging. And there’s an illuminating author afterword too.

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