Tag: sf

  • THE YIDDISH POLICEMEN’S UNION

    Sometimes reading throws up odd sychronicities – and my experience of reading Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (a ‘mainstream’ writer’s take on both sf (alt-history) and the crime thriller in one book) came shortly after I’d finished reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and No Country for Old Men (a ‘mainstream’ writer’s take on both […]

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  • BRASYL

    This is a book that, for me, ended up being more than the sum of its parts. There was quite a lot here that I found disappointing, at first, but as McDonald interleaves the three different plot threads across three different worlds/times I found myself being drawn by the story and worrying less about the […]

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  • GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD

    I finished reading Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road yesterday. It’s a wonderful book – a straightforward action-adventure story in the very old style but lifted way into the stratosphere by Chabon’s mastery of language.

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  • KING ROOK

    I was born in a housing estate at the foot of a steep hill. The top of the hill is ringed with trees, ancient sessile oaks, wych elm and horse chestnut. The rooks owned the woods. These were big birds with heavy black beaks and bodies matt as coal dust but their hoods shone like […]

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  • THE SPITFIRE

    The Spitfire was a sleek metal thing with a space for a battery underneath that made the propeller spin. I had coveted it for months as it had sat in the window of Morrow’s toy shop – the tiny moulded plastic pilot alert, day and night, for Messherschmidts and Focke Wolfs that would never pounce.

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  • LEAVING THE WORLD

    Sept sat cross-legged in the centre of an ordinary living room and pulled The World from his head one wire at a time. Blood ran down the pale skin on his back, staining the blue shorts that were the only clothes he wore, and spread across the wheat coloured carpet in a growing pool. The […]

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  • RUM AND SLAVES

    The colour of the money passing through the accounts of DeGris and Languedoc may be as green as in any other bank, but the colour of its customer’s blood is invariably blue. The company began life as a goldsmith’s and issued its first cheque in 1668. Today it serves a liberal scattering of the world’s […]

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  • THE DECISION THAT CHANGED THE LIFE FABRICE COLLISEO

    A life does not flow evenly from spring to the ocean, its passage is broken by rapids and falls, twists and turns. The choices we make define a life’s course. Some decisions take us over a threshold where the effort required to backtrack, to paddle against the turbulence and cross to another stream, requires more […]

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  • STONE MUST ROLL

    The rusting husks of Soviet-era industry litter the Balkans. Shuttered chemical plants smear rainbows across ground water in Serbia, cold and rusting furnaces rot in Bulgaria, in Montenegro the wind howls through the girdered skeletons of dead factories and in Macedonia, in Bosnia and in Croatia vast plants with lost purposes are turning gradually into […]

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  • THE UNEXPECTEDLY EXISTENTIAL LIFE OF MARGARET TOME

    The existentialist philosophers Heidegger and Satre argue that we have been thrown into this universe unprepared and abandoned in a universe that imposes fundamental limitations on what we might become. They call this notion facticity.

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