This was a delight after the turgid prose of The Night Lands. It’s a concisely written novella that is a solid read and had a strong impact on twenty first century science fiction. Because of this, most genre aficionados will have some idea of the plot. I highly recommend it.
This book, written in 1912 by William Hope Hodgson is an imaginative tour-de-force, filled with spectacular imagery and grotesque monsters. It’s an epic story that riffs off the Orpheus myths; about a man going entering the underworld to rescue the woman he loves. Continue reading “The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson”
I finished reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time! I have unlocked an achievement! After a Herculean marathon, I re-read most of the books over the Christmas break, and have now caught up on the last three books, co-written with Brandon Sanderson.
I quite enjoyed the last Kazuo Ishiguro book I read – ‘Remains of the Day’. The portrait of the repressed Stevens stayed with me for some time. Unfortunately, I can’t really say the same about ‘When We Were Orphans’. It’s well-written, but a combination of factors torpedoed the book for me.
‘The City & The City’ by China Mievelle is set in an invented place somewhere, I think, in Eastern Europe. Because the city is the star of the novel, I’ll go into its worldbuilding in a bit of detail. There’s a city divided into two distinct areas, Beszel and Ul Qoma. But rather than this division taking place through half of the city, like East and West Berlin, the division of this city is scattered all over the place. A bit of park might belong to Beszel here, a building over there might be in Ul Qoma over there. ‘Crosshatched’ streets are where the two cities overlap, although they might have different names. The two cities have different languages with the same root, and citizens are trained from a young age not to ‘see’ the inhabitants of the other city, essentially pretending not to see the other people or buildings. Culture is defined by different ways of dress. To acknowledge the other city, even though it might be right there, or to cross over is to be ‘in breach’, which is enforced by the mysterious Breach organisation.