Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
Superbly-written mosaic of another world.
on 30 May 2001
"The Dream Archipelago" consists of six inter-linked stories set in a war-torn alternative world, (vaguely reminiscent of our Mediterranean Europe), and features many of the great Christopher Priest themes of art, time, growing up, the reliability of memory and the uneasy sense of not quite being able to place who you are. (In many ways, "The Dream Archipelago" could be read as a companion-volume to Priest's wonderful novel "The Affirmation", since it shares a lot of concerns and background details with that book.) Not content with the usual S.F. trappings, Priest imagines the aftermath of battles fought with synaesthetic weapons, places where insects and fruits have a strange predatory, symbiotic relationship and countries where microscopic surveillance has seeped into every facet of life. Genuinely strange and haunting stuff - structured not unlike Keith Roberts' "Pavane", in that it gradually builds up a mosaic-picture of an entire other world and its customs, letting the reader make all the connections and inferences without a lot of intrusive authorial prodding. Highly enjoyable, frequently eerie and superbly written stories throughout.