Top positive review
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Top notch, old chap
on 9 July 2002
British Summertime is a remarkable read. There are a lot of "time travel changes the world as we know it" adventures out there, but Cornell's is certainly an original spin.
Brimming with his trademark leftie, hippy optimism and weird, horrific violence, the beautiful prose style masks the fact it's a hugely complicated, sprawling space opera. Dan Dare meets Judas Iscariot, and that's hardly the half of it.
As he's done before, Cornell throws a load of variously unhinged or unhappy characters into a cosy, recognisably English setting and then has progressively wild things rip up the scenery. Not one of the characters is safe. Every one of them's going to get hurt somehow.
Anything can happen and it does. Decapitated heads with Received Pronunciation accents pilot nippy spaceships in the intergalactic war against bits of tubing. A girl fluent in body language and human geography - able, inately, to find chip shops among streets she's never visited before - discovers her High Church, super-famous pop-star alter-ego. The master-of-disguise working for British Intelligence regulary drills holes into his own head.
It's Cornell's deft writing style and the genuine affection we have for the lead characters that enable him to get away with such insane, unliklely happenings. Less outlandishly blasphemous than last year's Something More, it explores many of the same topics and themes. British Summertime is wonderfully weird and unusual, continually suprising, often shocking and really good fun.
When's the next one out, Paul?