Collected Fiction delivers exactly what the cover promises. There is a diverse range of genres, subjects and styles on display in this book, although it skews slightly toward sci-fi. Probably because sci-fi is clearly Rajaniemi’s strength. I’d never read him before, and stories like “His Master’s Voice,” “Skywalker of Earth” and “The Jugaad Cathedral” made me want to pick up his novel The Quantum Thief. They are dense with ideas and sparse with prose. Rajaniemi doesn’t hold the reader’s hand, providing loaded sentences built from strange, evocative words before leaving your imagination to do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, his obvious skill with sci-fi leaves the other stories to suffer by comparison. Folk tales like “The Oldest Game” are impenetrably dull, and the horror tales are nowhere near as scary as his technological nightmare visions. But they are few, and overall the collection is a tantalizing taste of an amazing talent.
Read the rest of Shepherd’s Bookshot at LITREACTOR.
For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Lius Lasahido
Design by Elizabeth Story