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Jul 2012
The Recollection - Gareth L Powers - Solaris, 2011
* * *
A few years ago I faced the problem that all bibliophiles of modest means eventually encounter, which is what to do when your bookshelves approach capacity. I started with the traditional one-in, one-out policy (only keep a book if it replaces another), but this has now reached the stage where pretty much all the books I have are ones that I want to read again. Various shelf strategies (moving all DVDs and knick-knacks into drawers, double-stacking) have delayed the inevitable, but now it is getting to the stage where I am seriously beginning to think about moving to a larger house (there's still the loft, but mine is very small and it’s wrong to keep books in the cold). As another stop-gap, I have acquired an e-reader. It's a nice little machine - the print is clear and it was a piece of cake to set up - but the difficulty of riffling back to earlier sections to remind yourself of previous events (made more irksome by the lack of page numbers) means that I can only envisage using it for lighter reading. And this book would have been perfect for it.

That's not to say that it is bad. It is a perfectly decent space opera with planet-destroying baddies, wormholes and spaceships, very reminiscent of Charles Stross' Iron Sunrise. But like that book, it suffers from the twin Hollywood flaws of shallow characterisation and sacrifice of motivational plausibility to advance the plot.

Read more... )

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