Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Best Obscure SF Novel Ever

Thanks to Free SF Online, a few years ago I found this very fine unpublished work by Michael Coney, Flower of Goronwy. It is the story of a galactic UN-type mission that turns into a career for well-meaning but only marginally effectual bureaucrats. I really haven't seen that theme very often. The aliens appear familiar but are thoroughly alien underneath. Most notable is that it has the two most fully-realized female characters I have encountered in SF, and they are extremely different from each other. All in all, a delight to read. It was never published, so you can join a very elite group of readers. Take the opportunity while it's still posted.

Reads of the Day

Michael Allen's An Invitation Via Email is in this issue of Weird Tales. Very much a tossoff, not much here, but the rest of the issue looks OK.

Kevin J. Anderson's Newts is a smooth and competent tale, as all of Anderson's work is. He tells the tale of an Earth colony founded by a leader/prophet, now under attack from decadent Earth. His perspective is that of a "newt", a neutered man who cannot feel the deep emotions of the time. It's an interesting exploration of how it would feel to not feel. My only critique is that the story is kind of told backward--the backstory comes a good ways in, making the front harder to follow.

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