(photo courtesy of Könyvhét)
Two more reviews for the “fluid and smooth” HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION.
The book is divided into smaller stories, usually eight to 15 page tales. Each story is distinct and separate for the most part, although dedicated readers might see similarities between the worlds presented in each. The language level tends to rise and fall. For some stories, bring a thesaurus with you. Overall, the writing is fluid and smooth, and at times manages to feel poetic.
There’s plenty of hard science fiction in the book. Most stories follow the usual Rajaniemi style: A character is introduced to wild and amazing technology, gets hoisted by their own petard, and uses their smart, creative, and novel use of the world to escape punishment. All of these work really, really well: Rajaniemi is on point for his usual work.
This isn’t a book for your grandfather. This isn’t a book for a Star Wars fan. This isn’t a book for someone just getting into reading sci-fi. But if you’ve read Greg Egan, Charles Stross, Richard Morgan, Daniel Suarez, Vernor Vinge, or if you’ve read “The Quantum Thief” trilogy, pick this up as soon as possible.
The verdict: I got a headache trying to understand the science under the fiction and I’m OK with that.
I really enjoyed this short story collection. There is something sublime, poetic and playful about how Rajaniemi blends mythology and technology in near (and far) future scenarios.
Overall, I enjoyed the diversity of the stories and will definitely check out more of the writer’s work in the future.
For more info on HANNU RAJANIEMI: COLLECTED FICTION, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover art by Lius Lasahido
Design by Elizabeth Story