Where do you run when a world is out to get you AIs, Forged beings, superheroes, angels, and worlds that change in the blink of an eye-here is a richly imagined tale of ordinary redemption in an extraordinary world from one of the most provocative writers working today.... Francine is a young runaway looking to find a definition of love she can trust. In Sankhara, she finds a palace where rooms are made of bone, flowers, and the hearts of heroes. She finds a scientist mapping the territory of the human mind. She finds a boyfriend. And she finds Eros itself-incarnated in the androgynously irresistible form of Jalaeka. But not everyone is in love with the god of love. Unity, for one, wants to assimilate Jalaeka along with every other soul in the universe. And contrary to what everyone always believes, love alone can't save the day. It will take something both more and less powerful than the human heart to save the worlds upon worlds at risk when gods collide.
If William Gibson and Norman Spinrad had dropped acid together, this fourth SF novel by British author Robson (Natural History) is the book they might have written. It's a bizarre exploration of theories about human nature, set in a post-Singularity future where AIs are in charge of both real and virtual worlds, genetic manipulation is so common that "unevolved" people are disdained, and anyone can use magic as long as they don't mind occasionally being possessed by Theo, the personification of knowledge, as he hunts for his twin, Jalaeka, the personification of the ineffable. Unfortunately, the tale's visionary qualities are drowned out by the overabundance of undefined vocabulary, queasily fluctuating scenery and dizzying perspective swaps among half a dozen protagonists. Some chapters are less than a page, and almost all are written in the first person, adding narrative confusion despite Robson's credible efforts to distinguish the characters' voices. The experimental nature that makes the novel worth starting sadly ends up rendering it hard to finish. (Mar. 28) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
March 27, 2006
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson
There's a kind of hush all over the world tonight: the sound of lovers in love. The rosy fug of it is so overpowering that I can't hear the special kind of silence I'm listening for; the one that will tell me I'm about to die.
It's long past midnight. From my premium vantage point on the top of the Syndicated DC Building I can see the whole of Manhattan before me, stretching north towards Central Park. Hoboken's bricktown lies over the water to my left, the brownstone weight of Brooklyn to my right, a rain-washed splendour of light and concrete. Its electrified pizzazz fades very suddenly into the murky gaslights and pillared mansions of Gotham. Gotham, seeded by trees in permanent winter coats of ice, shrouded eternally in mist seeping from the ground, ruled by wolves.
Staten Island simply does not exist. The rotting piles of an enormous, abandoned shipyard stand in its place, every stanchion and plank half as big again, in its way, as any human structure. I can smell the pitch on their vast timbers. The copper has long since oxidized to green on the signs that tell of ferry journeys to the Euphrates, the Tigris, the Congo, the Styx. No ship has ever moored there. They say that ghosts come and go over the water from its silent terminals, so in this world at least one charm is missing.
If charms ever had such power I'd be chanting charms like a machine gun spits bullets.
Behind me the wind blows fitfully from Gotham's worm-riddled Germanic spires. It smells of incense and twisted passions. I like to visit but I couldn't live there, although some of my best friends do. It's popular with everyone young enough to play with death.