I have just finished Hannu Rajaniemi’s Collected Fiction and I am still recovering.
My mind feels constellated. I am keenly, weirdly, expansively aware of explosions still taking place inside my head. The world has shifted while I read, and the quartz in the necklace I wear is full of super computers breathing sentience against my skin. There are eyes threaded through scarves over the windowsill. I want to learn everything.
I feel the need to dress up for reviewing this book, to take it for a night out on the town, to take it to Paris and Tokyo and Edinburgh in gratitude, to offer it drinks. This is only fair: The book took me to all those places. It took me to vast expanses of space, poured me into dark matter ships and servers that invent universes. It made me laugh. It made me crushingly sad. Always, it astonished me.
Forgive me. It’s very strange to read a collection where the only criticism I can sensibly level is an acknowledgement that not every story is perfect.
My necklace communicates hunger, happiness, and a desire to dance. A story has composed itself through the medium of my reading it. Hannu Rajaniemi’s magnificent science fiction — as is paradoxically appropriate — is pure magic.
Read the rest of El-Mohtar’s review at NPR.
For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Lius Lasahido
Design by Elizabeth Story