A pair of reviews praising HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION.
When reading Rajaniemi we’re in another “country”. His fictiopn is everything but traditional, e.g., genre-clichéd. What we’ve got here are complexly stories where even minor details are significant (in a Rajaniemi story one can expect lots of details). Don’t expect infodumps à lá Neal Stephenson, i.e., Rajaniemi rarely breaks stride to explain his science or world (or words come to that). That is actually one of his great strengths. Rajaniemi might introduce a concept such as “quantum lovegety” (a quantum Tinder App with much more explicit undertones) but allow the rationale to disentangle through the actions and dialogue of the characters. Rajaniemi may use a term like “quantum lovegety” over and over again but not explain it clearly until much later in the story (and sometimes never).
It is a pretty good way to build a story that adds another strata of mystery to something already mysterious, and thus preventing infodumping so common to SF. Some people will hate as a matter of course. Why? Probably because they get confused (as I am sometimes). SF and Rajaniemi’s fiction in particular impart a sense of glamour, otherness, and estrangement. Don’t expect a Rajaniemi story to include a glossary of terms.
Due to the fact that it’s a potpourri collection of fiction, some unevenness in the quality of some of the stories is to be expected. Nevertheless the best stories are up there with the best. This collection did not push all of my buttons, but rather pushed all the right ones.
When reading Rajaniemi you’re on your own. Have a nice voyage.
It’s great that Tachyon Publications has decided to publish this collection of Hannu Rajaniemi’s short fiction, because all the stories featured in this collection are interesting and will please fans of science fiction stories. If you want originality, creativity, imagination and style from your stories, you can’t go wrong by reading these stories. Whether it’s escapism or extraordinary happenings you’re looking for, you’ll find it all here within the covers of this collection. These stories beautifully demonstrate the full range of the author’s imagination and writing abilities.
These stories are marked by intelligent storytelling and sparkling imagination. Hannu Rajaniemi is capable of creating stories that push the boundaries of science fiction, but stay true to their roots that lie in classic hard science fiction. He’s capable of writing different kind of stories, and he has even managed to add a few fantasy elements to his stories.
I enjoyed reading this collection. It’s one of the best and most captivating science fiction collections I’ve read during the recent years. I can honestly say that there aren’t many science fiction collections that can rival this one in terms of imagination, style and creativity.
If you found yourself fascinated by Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur trilogy, please do yourself a favour and read this collection, because you’ll love it. If you’ve never read anything by Hannu Rajaniemi, I urge you to take a look at this collection as soon as possible, because it contains excellent short stories to readers who want to read good science fiction.
An excellent short story collection!
For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Lius Lasahido
Design by Elizabeth Story