As you all know, I love science fiction and I’m sure that I read altogether too much of it—but what can you do when if written well it gives so much pleasure and isn’t fattening or bad for the lungs or liver? This is my first Ken McLeod read and I was impressed by how well the book worked on a number of levels; it’s a very crafty, tersely-written first contact novel and it’s also full of little SF in-jokes. A colony of humans who have been traveling on a series of generation-ship habitats for thousands of years finally come into a system inhabited by intelligent humanoid bats who very closely resemble early 2oth century Western European culture. One of Mcleod’s jokes in this first contact novel is that we sometimes find the aliens more human and understandable that the complex ‘humans’ aboard the habitats. (The name of the entire habitat “But the sky, my lady, the sky!” is obviously a nod to Iain Banks’ culture novels). You can read two more cogent, coherent reviews of the novel by Niall Harrison and Dan Hartland over at Strange Horizons.
(And I’ve added Ken Mcleod’s blog to the roll although I’m not sure if it’s dead or dormant).
Of course, I’m still on the poetry and I urge you to fork out a measly $NZ5 and go and buy Peter Olds small book The Mad Elephant now.And here’s a poem by Peter you might enjoy: