Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Bookman

Lavie Tidhar

2010 book, Israeli science fiction. Victorian punk, taking and reworking a lot of elements from nineteenth century history and literature. Verne, Wells, Jack the Ripper, Moriarty (as prime minister) and dozens of other recognizable icons feature predominately. That in itself is a part of the problem, with Tidhar using a lot of familiar elements and stirring to produce a story that doesn't offer enough new stuff to be worth a story. Sill, there is a certain charm in watching the intersection of different elements, with a few creative wrinkles and fun world building details (like an anarchist political group that makes a point of distracting geniuses so their writing of books will be disrupted). The political intrigue that works in the intersection of myth, story and class are pretty good.

Not good enough for a Hugo and I won't be voting it on my shortlist, but still a reasonably entertaining story. Similar in tone to Boneshaker to an extent, but better worked overall.

Better than: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
Worse than: New Model Army by Adam Roberts

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