Sunday, 2 September 2007

Reading Matter

I'm still ploughing through Black Man. Like most of Richard Morgan's work, it's very good and very violent. I won't explain the plot here, you'll have to look on Amazon if you want to know what it's about, but I have to say, I don't like it as much as Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels.
I have finished reading The New Space Opera. The quality of the stories in it was very high throughout, but the final story, Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons, is absolute genius. For those of you unfamiliar with Simmons, he's an author who writes SF and fantasy, as well as horror, and has always been one of those authors who can straddle several different genres with ease, and also has a very good understanding of great literature. His Hyperion Cantos and his two books Ilium and Olympos are books of tremendous literary merit.
Muse of Fire paints a grim vision of a humanity subdued into slavery by a fierce alien race called the Archons, who themselves are the lowest of four increasingly powerful alien races (the others being the Poimen, the Demiurgos, and Abraxas, a kind of God). It follows a troupe of actors who travel to planets where human slaves are kept by the Archons to put on Shakespeare plays for them. One day, several Archons come to watch their play, and they are summoned to perform before the rest of the Archons, before embarking on a journey to perform Shakespeare's plays to each of the other races. Eventually they discover they are performing for the future of their race.
Simmons packs more ideas into this one short story than many writers can come up with for a huge novel. I'd highly recommend this story.
I'm going back to work tomorrow so I need to choose a book to read on the train.

1 comment:

DJK said...

You've sold me on the Simmons story. I'm going to run out and get the book!