Don’t get me wrong. I love Sullivan’s work. His tales of the Riryia are some of my favorite fantasy discoveries of recent years – the kind of rousing, old school adventure tales that brought me to the genre in the first place. Now, he suddenly shifts to science fiction, a genre that I don’t read often and am very picky about what I do read.
But the Riryia tales were too good for me not to give “Hollow World” a go, and, oh man, wow.
Rather than get lost in the minutiae of individual issues, Sullivan looks at the bigger picture and forces readers to think about the bigger questions: What is the nature of love? What does Utopia look like? Is it even possible for there to be a perfect society or, for that matter, a perfect human being?
It’s also nice that Sullivan doesn’t get lost in the science part of the genre, trying to over-explain the mechanics of time travel. Instead, he provides an explanation that’s plausible, though certainly wouldn’t hold up to scientific testing, and uses the device to take a closer look at humanity. That’s the kind of science fiction that I like.
“Hollow World” recalls the classic “idea” science fiction of authors like Asimov and Philip K. Dick, and as much as I enjoy the fun of the Riryia tales, I hope that Sullivan might one day provide us more think-pieces like this one. He’s good at it.
Read the rest of Phillips’ review at The Royal Library.
For information on Hollow World, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Michael J. Sullivan.