Archive for the ‘Speculative (Beyond Reality)’ Category
RAISING STEAM by Terry Pratchett is a book in his marvellous Discworld series. As in all the books of this series, Sir Pratchett spins an immensely readable yarn centered on the impact of an idea, an invention or the like into Discworld society. The ideas heâ€™s tackled include the introduction of paper money; the post office; telegraph; deity, religion, and the corruptible priesthood; warfare rooted in ages-old history; terrorism; and in RAISING STEAM the introduction of the steam locomotive. His characters are satirical and humorous, often takes on historical and literary icons, from Machiavelli’s Prince to LoTze to Don Giovanni. Discworld is unlike our own on the surface, but seen through Pratchettâ€™s satirical lens, the reader finds hilarious commentary on our own world and its foibles. His impressive social intelligence and wicked sense of humor make for an engaging read.
Nnedi Okorafor’s story collection KABU KABU, published in 2013, provides the reader with a fascinating glimpse into the author’s rich imagination, vibrant language and captivating scenarios. Created at different stages in her extensive writing career, Okorafor treats us to a range of intriguing characters and their adventures, skilfully (and successfully) combining elements of speculative fiction and fantasy with African folklore and magical realism, and yes, indeed, political and social present day issues. Many of her stories have been nominated, shortlisted and/or have won literary recognition and awards as have her novels.
The idea for writing a modern version of the biblical story of Joseph came apparently from the author’s husband. It is a brilliant one, even more brilliantly executed. First, because she uses it for resonance rather than prediction; you recognize the biblical parallels after they have occurred, but you never know when she is going to depart from the Genesis version, so her novel remains surprising to the end. Second, because the Egyptian setting grounds the book in aspects of Jewish history that are perhaps less well-known, but obviously relevant to the eternal geopolitical situation in the Middle East. And third, because the Torah reference provides the perfect opening to explore many issues in Jewish teaching and philosophy, most notably those concerning divine providence, accident, and free will. The title of her novel, actually, is borrowed from a treatise on these very questions written in Cairo by the twelfth century doctor and philosopher Maimonides. The result, in Horn’s hands, is a richly layered novel that is humane, exciting, informative, and thought-provoking, all at the same time.
February 18, 2014
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Jewishness, Memory, Norton, Story Retold Â· Posted in: Facing History, Family Matters, Literary, Middle East, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Theme driven, World Lit, y Award Winning Author
Dedicated Stephen King fans are in for an epic treatâ€”an odyssey, a Foolâ€™s journey, an adventure with romance. A genre-bending historical novel with moral implications, this story combines echoes of Homer, H.G. Wells, Don Quixote, Quantum Leap (the old TV show), Jack Finneyâ€™s TIME AND AGAIN, and even a spoonful of meta-King himself, the czar of popular fiction.
November 8, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: 1950s, 700+ Pages, JFK, Real Event Fiction, Real People Fiction, Stephen King, Time Period Fiction, Time Travel Â· Posted in: Alternate History, Facing History, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Texas, y Award Winning Author
HELL AND GONE, another nail-biting read from author Duane Swierczynski is the second volume in the Charlie Hardie Trilogy. I
ZONE ONE by Colson Whitehead plays on the archetype of apocalyptic zombie literature. The unnamed protagonist is known as Mark Spitz, because he is afraid to swim. He is a sweeper, someone assigned by the pseudo-government in Buffalo to destroy any zombie AKA skel or catatonic victim AKA straggler of the plague that has destroyed civilization.