I reviewed Mark Schlegell’s very impressive Mercury Station for Bookforum. In some ways it feels a little like Moonshadows or Stepan Chapman’s The Troika. It’s one of those SF novels criminally overlooked this year, and it deserves your attention. Its ideas on time travel are playful and unique, its take on our future grim but realistic.
“The many delights of Mercury Station include Ryanâ€™s jousting with MERKUR qompURE during interrogations about the gaps in his memory, the inclusion of Ryanâ€™s rather suspect rÃ©sumÃ©, and the authorâ€™s extended riffs on the nature of time travel; a description of chronautics as â€œtimeâ€™s sex organsâ€ is particularly good.”
I participated in the latest Sofanauts podcast show, with Mike Allen and Jeremy Tolbert, Tony C. Smith presiding over the festivities. Topics range from anthologies to portals versus doors, and other cool stuff.
“The history of Fantasy is littered with the scattered remains of books that took their magic seriously but not their charactersâ€”or, more accurately, didnâ€™t take life seriously. True fantasy classics, in any medium, reflect what we know about the real world: that it is a bittersweet place in which terrible things sometimes happen for no apparent reason. Further, imagination and creativity must be wedded to the personal, with actions having real consequences. Otherwise, weâ€™re left with diaphanous eye candy that doesnâ€™t remain in the readerâ€™s memory. Artist and writer Kazu Kibuishi, editor of the Flight comics anthologies, seems to understand this truth–at least, its reflected in his Amulet series from Scholastic, a truly imaginative yet grounded fantasy story that has amazing potential.”