A pair of fresh reviews of Lavie Tidhar’s CENTRAL STATION.
For THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION, Michael Levy praises the book.
Tidhar has now revised these stories, adding a prologue and two new chapters, to turn them into a fascinating mosaic novel. The book has a cyberpunkish feel to it in that most of the characters are augmented in various ways and definitely on the down and out, but it also lacks (quite intentionally, it should be noted) the adrenaline-driven plotting of traditional cyberpunk fiction. Rather, these stories are ruminative, obsessed with memories and what might have been. Each of the book’s ensemble cast is deeply troubled by his, her, or its past, by missed opportunities. Each character is lonely and worried about the future, hoping against hope for some sort of human connection to fill the emptiness in their souls.
Together, the people who live beneath Central Station form as memorable a cast of characters as you will find in recent science fiction. Some folks might find Isobel Chow’s Guilds of Ashkelon universe more exciting, but mature readers who are willing to sit down in Miriam Jones’s bar, have a drink, and watch the passing Tel Aviv scene will be amply rewarded
Photo: Kevin Nixon. © Future Publishing 2013
Charlie Shifflett on his eponymous site enjoys the novel.
The characters range from a coffee shop owner to a bookseller to a doctor to homeless robots to aliens of both the scary and the non-scary variety. The novel jumps from character to character, often circling back chapters later. Around the middle of the novel, a few narrative threads begin to emerge, and that’s when the book really began to draw me in.
One of Tidhar’s accomplishments is that he is able to make the non-human characters – robots, cyborgs, and aliens especially – feel, well, human.
Tidhar, who the GUARDIAN newspaper compared to Philip K. Dick, has given the world a fascinating and imaginative snapshot of a distant future. When you finish reading CENTRAL STATION, you will likely hope that Tidhar takes us there again – sooner rather than later.
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Sarah Anne Langton