jueves, 29 de septiembre de 2022

The Prestige by Christopher Priest

It is a shame but it was my first Christopher Priest reading. Well, I'm impressed.

First of all I must say that it has been a delight to listen to this audiobook, congratulations to the narrator, Mr. Simon Vance (and of course the author, but I will say this later). I had heard a lot about this novel but really I knew little about the plot apart from the rivalry between the two magicians. Also, I have not seen the movie either, which I am told is quite different from the novel. Better this way, I can read it without preconceived ideas, something difficult in a book as well known as this one.

Cover from the Audible edition

About my reading, sorry, about my listening I can say that it has managed to captivate me from the first moment. It is not the typical novel with an intrigue that catches you but the events and how the author narrates them, with so many exquisite details about the time and particularly about the world of illusionism, immediately leave their m
ark on you. So I have been fascinated by the study of illusionism in itself, with a whole subculture based on perception deception; but more than that, in which the spectators collaborate without realizing it. Really impressive.

One aspect to highlight is the development of the plot. Until almost the end the author does not put his cards on the table -if I may use this prestidigitator expression-, but I must clarify that it is not a question of playing misdirection like a… illusionist; or yes, perhaps it is: so you simply must participate -as a reader- in this (literary) magic show and wait to see what the magician/author pulls out of his hat. Also there is an astonishing ending, which I have been anticipating throughout the novel (you just must read the index) but you can not imagine how it will impact you.

Needless to say, this will not be my last reading of the author.

viernes, 16 de septiembre de 2022

Spaceling by Doris Piserchia

A curious novel, totally New Wave (first published in 1978).

Synopsis: Adventures and intrigues in which a 15-year-old girl finds herself involved, in a future where some humans can travel interdimensionally. In other dimensions the human body transforms into a totally different being, adapted to the new environment. For example, in a volcanic world uninhabitable for humans, the character becomes a sort of giant otter (see the hardcover edition art below).

It gets a little confusing with all the interdimensional back and forth and also for all the characters and how they come in and out of the story. At some point the story evokes or suggests to me what I assume would be an astral travel or a drug-type experience.

An interesting author, until now I had not read any of her works, but I plan to read more of hers.

viernes, 9 de septiembre de 2022

Inversions (the Culture series #6) by Iain M. Banks

Inversions meets the expectations of the previous novels set in the Culture, although it presents a different situation than the one the author had accustomed us to in this series. Far from the space orbitals and the magnificent ships -and their insurmountable names-, in this case the author immerses us in a medieval world, a world closer to fantasy -although it falls within the science fiction genre as well-, a world that I would say it evokes the novels of Jack Vance.

In this imagined world, the author concocts a well-developed history of medieval intrigues and only with a few brief notes on the galactic context of Culture, to which he does not allude directly at any time. To highlight the role of women in this story and the criticism of the patriarchal environment, which makes it a very current novel.

The author passed away in 2013, leaving us with no more stories of Culture that he surely had left to tell us. We miss you very much Mr. Banks.