Tidhar’s prose is as wonderful as ever, with a lot of metaliterary games and references to his own work, as well as winks at the current situation in Israel establishing parallels with this mythical UNHOLY LAND of which the author speaks. But undoubtedly what is more striking are the different voices he uses. Varying between an unnatural first person, because he does not give the voice to the protagonist, a disconcerting second person and a third person that serves to stabilize us, the author gets a permanent state of confusion in the reader and demands a constant effort to place us in the plot.
The changes of environment are continuous but subtle. We see how Tirosh acts contrary to what we would expect from the situation he is in, because in reality he is not the same character at all times and I am not speaking only metaphorically.
UNHOLY LAND is a difficult but attractive novel, with a different perspective of an ukraine that could remind us of the Yiddish police syndicate because of its starting point but that it navigates completely different paths. It is not for everyone, but I think that for a regular science fiction reader it will be very attractive.
Translation from Spanish courtesy of Google
LEVAR BURTON READS shares an audio rendition of Tidhar’s “YIWU.”
And secondly, my friend Francesco Verso has been running Future Fiction for a number of years now, putting out high-quality, single-author collections in gorgeous little paperbacks, so I’m delighted to say we’ve just done my very own exclusive collection in Italy! Terminale Terra collects several of my near-future stories, including “Terminal”. It is translated by Rita Demaria, with a cover by Simone Ferraro.
For more info on UNHOLY LAND, visit the Tachyon page.
For more info about CENTRAL STATION, visit the Tachyon page.
Covers by Sarah Anne Langton