My American writer friend, Doug, put me on to this English novelist and I first read, and loved, Arcadia.
Continent, Crace’s first book, is different. I don’t think it’s a novel, for a start. It reads like seven short stories. And why did he have to invent a seventh continent as backdrop? I’ve never been to Africa or South America but have read enough from both to visualise them as the perfect settings for this book.
That apart, it is of course a good read and two of the pieces stand out – On Heat in the middle, with a very fine twist, and Electricity as a good example of prefiguring a final scene. A sense of menace suffuses all the stories; perhaps this disturbance casts the reader into Crace’s unknown world, an unknown continent of the imagination.
But first a reminder that this website has a calendar, where events like this are posted, if I know about them. If you know about any, I can set you up to post as well.
So, yesterday a couple of hundred science fiction and fantasy types descended on the Bristol Ramada for a day of panels, signings, art, readings, interviews, up close and personal groups and… books, of course. Way too much to cover here but the programme should still be online. I particularly wanted to catch Alastair Reynolds, Eugene Byrne and Gareth L. Powell‘s launch of The Recollection, which I’ve come away with.
In fact I’ve come away with tons and my book pile now contravenes all Health and Safety regulations (not helped with Middlemarch teetering on the top but that’ll go back tomorrow). Among them is a copy of B. John Shaw Liddle’s Suncaller if anyone fancies reviewing it for the website. I also chatted to Wayne Simmons, author of Flu. Hmm, I’ll probably have to check that against my Let the Time Come. He has more zombies in his though.
Emma Newman was there too and she’s launching an intriguing looking website at Split Worlds. It appears to be for local people but see what you make of it. Big, big hat tip to Jo Hall and team for putting the show together.
I had to leave before the end because of a small matter of the Championship leaders (Southampton in case you didn’t know) playing at Reading. It was hard to find a pub not showing the Liverpool game but BSB at Harbourside obliged and I supped £3.60 pints while, frankly, the second best team nicked a point with only ten men on the field. That’s what champions do.
Champion footballers and champion writers. I’ve pencilled in BristolCon ’12 already.