Friday Links: A New StarShipSofa Sofanauts Podcast, Von Schlegell’s Mercury Station, and Kibuishi’s Amulet Series

Jeff VanderMeer • September 11th, 2009 @ 3:08 pm • Culture

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 Ryan’s jousting with MERKUR qompURE during interrogations about the gaps in his memory, the inclusion of Ryan’s rather suspect résumé, and the author’s extended riffs on the nature of time travel; a description of chronautics as “time’s sex organs” 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.

My Graphic Novel Friday post about Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet series, the second book of which has just been released by Scholastic.

“The history of Fantasy is littered with the scattered remains of books that took their magic seriously but not their characters—or, more accurately, didn’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, we’re left with diaphanous eye candy that doesn’t remain in the reader’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.”

4 Responses to “Friday Links: A New StarShipSofa Sofanauts Podcast, Von Schlegell’s Mercury Station, and Kibuishi’s Amulet Series”

  1. Hellbound Heart says:

    i’ll have to keep an eye out for mercury station, have a coupla weeks’ school holidays coming up soon and i may have to make a pilgrimage up to the gold coast where i know of a couple of stellar book stores (also will have to make a list of the books you’ve mentioned that interest me, ooooh the ol’ plastic’s gonna getta belting, i can feel it!)……

    peace and love…..

  2. b- says:

    Nice review for amulet. Just a minor quibble though: You mention that in The Stonekeeper Emily and Navin’s dad dies in front of their eyes, but technically only Emily sees it. The family is driving to pick up her brother before the accident. Wow, I feel like such a fanboy now… sorry.

  3. jeff vandermeer says:

    Yep, technically you’re right but it’s the kind of generalization in plot summary that you sometimes need–in part to avoid true spoilers. :)

  4. Drax says:

    What a great post, a much needed boost on a dreary, haunted day. You sounded great on the Sofanauts. Lotta fun. Thanks.

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