CENTRAL STATION is a marvellous, multi-faceted story
Photo: Kevin Nixon. © Future Publishing 2013
Gareth D Jones of the SF CROWSNEST enjoys Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION.
I read several of Lavie Tidhar’s ‘Central Station’ stories when they appeared in INTERZONE magazine in recent years. They were all interlinked, both by the location and by some of the characters, but chiefly by the richly imagined world that revolves around the edifice of Central Station. In this volume, Lavie Tidhar has collected and revised all of his ‘Central Station’ stories and added extra material to weave them into a marvellous, multi-faceted story that flows gently from one character to another like an intimate private tour of Tel Aviv and the spaceport at its centre.
Like Lavie Tidhar’s anarchic novel, THE TEL AVIV DOSSIER, co-written with Nir Yaniv, there are lots of cultural and historical references and a lot going on. Unlike that fabulously psychedelic book, CENTRAL STATION is much more sedate in its pacing, with time for philosophy, poetry, memories and regrets for the ensemble cast. The tale is addictive though and, despite its seemingly meandering plot, I was constantly drawn into the next episode to see how this gorgeously rendered polyptych would develop.
This is what makes this book so intriguing: there is not just one ramification from the central technology of this society. Lavie Tidhar has given much thought to what could happen and draws out the numerous developments that are possible. Each of these leads on to various types of people and how they live their lives.
At the end of the book, I was left with a mellow feeling of contentment and the impression that I’d enjoyed a relaxing holiday in the company of some intriguing characters.
The Austrian DER STANDARD praises the novel.
The volume comprises 13 short stories that were published 2011-2016 in various magazines; two are original publications. Together they form, although any single itself, a dense network with continuous action, which – even if the now terribly banal sounds – as a parable of what is now Israel can read. But there’s more.
Is it a coincidence that CENTRAL STATION has been released exactly 30 years after William Gibson’s story collection BURNING CHROME? Lavie Tidhars stories as an update of the former cyberpunk milestone, a more human and more poetic version read (or at least in a different way poetic, as it was Gibson). One in which the technology has driven more fantastic flowers – but not only looks into the future, but also its thousand years of historical heritage are aware. Whatever way you want to see it, in any case, CENTRAL STATION a great reading experience.
(Translated from German by Google)
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton
THE TEL AVIV DOSSIER cover by Sarah Anne Langton.