Pollen Paperback – 7 Dec 2001
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Pollen is the sequel to Vurt (winner of the 1994 Arthur C. Clarke award), and both are concerned with a world in which dreams, drug-induced hallucination and reality become completely intermingled. In this volume, the dream world unleashes a pollen that threatens to cause people in the real world to sneeze to death.
But no review can do Noon's writing justice: it's a phantasmagoric combination of the more imaginative science fiction masters, such as Phillip K. Dick, genres such as cyberpunk and pulp fiction, and drug culture.
This innovative volume offers a much needed update on urban politics in a globalized world. The path-breaking introduction by Davidson and Martin unpacks this complex domain by framing urban politics in three ways: occurring within the city, as a setting for other urban processes, and as a medium for contestation and resolution. Within each section the contributors trouble these categories and demonstrate how the reach of urban politics exceeds the city through technological, social, cultural and political economy avenues of transition and mobility. Drawing upon Ranciere’s distinction between policing and politics as a fruitful avenue for identifying politics that promote social change rather than enforce social norms, Davidson and Martin, as well as contributors, chart new territory and produce thought-provoking research that move the field in a more critical direction.
(Setha M. Low 2013-09-01)
'A critical analysis of power and politics is essential to an understanding of contemporary urbanism. Informative and challenging, clear and sophisticated, Urban Politics: Critical Approaches encourages readers to grapple with the great diversity of analytical lenses that frame urban political research through detailed, engaging case studies. It provides an introduction to cutting-edge research that will be valued both by those new to the field and those intent on keeping up with its current debates.'
(Eugene McCann 2013-09-01) See all Product description
Top customer reviews
As with most of Noons Vurtual universe, Pollen is set in the near future of Manchester, initially starting out as a bit of a detective romp, following the bizarre hayfever like deaths that build up through the novel. Once again there is a fantastic sense of pace to the book that sees you tumbling through the pages to devour 'just one more chapter' as the countdown to the big sneeze ticks on down. As you progress further throughout the book, the grim reality of the Manchester that it is set in becomes more and more separated from reality as our group of main characters head towards the big showdown in the fantasy domain of John Barleyman.
I love the fact that the Vurtual books can all be linked together, Noon has created a Manchester with a unique identity. Unified through dreams, Alice In Wonderland and the Looking Glass Wars, the mysterious lubricant company Vaz. Everything has a purpose and a history that one book may hint at and another may unfold. Take Vurts central theme of the mysterious dream feathers and how Automated Alice twisted take on Alice In Wonderland gives the history as to where the dreaming originates from.
This is one for underground culture to lap up. References to the modern day underground, be it music or the slightly dark side of our lifestyles today, will hook you in and the pacy, satisfying excitement of the books will have you lapping up each of the books in turn. Its a shame that I've not seen anything from Noon for a while, am hoping the Vurtual universe will be expanded some time in the future. If you're new to Noon, best place to start is Vurt, but if you've been there and are looking for more, the quality carries on through this and Nymphomation. Completists will have to pick up Pixel Juice and Automated Alice to fill you in on those little questions that have been nagging in the corners of your mind.
The prose is sharp, the story wonderfully rich and when added to characters who the reader just can't help but want to know more about, all round makes this a series that for me has to be a modern classic. Add to the mix some wonderfully subtle twists, alongside some seriously delicious dialogue and all round you're in for one hell of a treat. Great stuff.
I didn't just step off the 'Vurt' bus and climb aboard 'Pollen' expecting the same mad genius. I've read the rest of Noon's stuff too and I've come to the conclusion that this is probably his weakest novel. The story is a little messy and the characters failed to draw me in. It IS a good read, but not an extraordinary one, particularly when you place it in context to the rest of his catalogue. For a follow up to 'Vurt', I believe 'Nymphomation' is a far more interesting in its relations, and if you want Noon to take you somewhere slightly different, try the excellent 'Needle in the Groove'. In summary, read 'Pollen' (and enjoy it) if you're a fan, but if you're not then don't expect it to convert you.
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