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Nova Swing (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 8 Nov 2007
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" The miracle... Harrison performs is to expand the possibilities of perception." "-- Guardian, "UK
"The miracle...Harrison performs is to expand the possibilities of perception." "-- Guardian, "UK
The miracle Harrison performs is to expand the possibilities of perception. Guardian, UK" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A sequel to the bestselling LIGHT, 'a novel of full-spectrum literary dominance' (GUARDIAN).See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Actually at the beginning of the reading I felt disoriented, with all those descriptions of situations and characters that are hard to imagine and especially with the remarkably static narrative. Going forward, however, I managed to get used to the unusual language of the author and appreciate the evocative aspect. Meanwhile, the story came alive and took hold of me forcing me to go ever further, so much that it became difficult to stop.
It is an original work, in which you cannot imagine what will happen next or the real implications of what has happened, where the main characters are annoying and you're apparently happy to realize that at the end the story abandons them, giving space to much more interesting secondary characters.
The lingering in improbable descriptions of improbable places and the author's ability to get out of each narrative scheme keeping you glued to the pages, whilst in your head an incredible universe takes shape that only the written word can evoke, are in my opinion the strengths of this novel. Not everybody is probably able to appreciate them, but it is undoubtedly a type of science fiction that is in my comfort zone.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Red Desert - Point of No Return
In a sense, the plot is secondary. The story is about the characters who inhabit this world and how they interact with it. However, I will say that the fact that Harrison includes a quote from Roadside Picnic by the Strugatskys is very telling. Had he not acknowledged this as an influence (along with a small allusion - I think - to Philip K. Dick's Clans of the Alphane Moons), I might have been a little saddened. However this story is an inversion of that one because it's about what takes place outside the site where strange things happen. It's about how society is filled these days with tourists, people who will never know what it is to be lost, how society has become so safe that it's sometimes hard to see why we keep living. Serotonin is one of the few men in this world who thrives on being lost, both inside the site and in his own life.
As ever with Harrison, there is sex, there is body horror, there is profundity. And isn't that what British SF is all about?
Strangely enough, given that they are not really the same kind of book, Harrison writes of the children of this world as if they were adult, as does Jonathan Lethem's novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, though as with Harrison, they are not really given much characterisation. Money, in this world, can buy you a new you. It can bulk you up like our detective's assistant, a girl with superhuman speed and strength - all built into her bloodstream artificially.
There are a number of people in the book who provide alternative viewpoints, including our detective who looks like an elderly version of Einstein. We learn quite a lot about him and his agoraphobic wife, and about Liv Hula, a Bar owner, who develops a dream of space hopping, buys an old tub of a ship, and with her friends achieves her dream. But such positivities are not on the table for the majority. The atmosphere created by Harrison is a marvel. It is multi-layered, constantly inventive and supremely - and darkly - imagined. You have to appreciate a smattering of hard-ish science along with your dream-schemes to get the most out of this book, but for anyone willing to try, this is compulsively rewarding.
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There's some continuity of characters and places with the first book in the trilogy; but no continuity of plot.Read more