It is with a heavy heart that I announce Isotropic Fiction will be going on hiatus for the foreseeable future. The key word here is hiatus. Know that we will be back. It is a question of when and not IF.
Call it PTSD from a decade of war and economic collapse. Call it viral hope. But culturally we are in a moment where stories of survival feel important.
Without ever venturing into overt fantasy, Café Insomniac paints a fantasy landscape local to any city in the world in shades of sleepless deep grays and headlight yellow-whites.
Early in a writer’s career, the difference between a good book and a great book depends on the skill of the editor. Later in a successful writer’s career, the difference depends on the writer. During the first stage, the editor has all the power and can act with near impunity. During the later, the writer’s stature and ego can prevent an editor from making vital changes.
In many cases the adrenaline rush from a well written chase scene suspends disbelief. Egan’s focus on hard science, while refreshing and more stimulating than a dry textbook, outweighs any of the social problems faced by Yalda and her circle. The effect is similar to Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott: a wonderful mental challenge, gilded by a cursory and unsatisfying look at gender politics.
Vampires in the Lemon Grove is a tough collection to classify. While ostensibly and consciously literary fiction, the individual stories, which traverse the gamut from alternate history to fantasy to horror and magical realism, are the ideals of their genres.
The problem with “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes” is that it is not about superheroes or spiritual laws. It’s about selling a book.
For such a spiritual book, Simple Act behaves like a solid action thriller. Moving at a fine clip, the plot never lets readers get either bored or overwhelmed. There is just enough character development, just enough setting, just enough of everything—Veligor has a fine sense of balance. A multiplicity of threats keeps the hero on his toes even as he struggles with higher philosophical and metaphysical matters, none of which are dwelt upon so long that the reader loses interest, in between walks downtown in his beloved Portland.
Ultimately, intense world building makes The Exile’s Violin a success. Between exotic cities and frozen factories, Jacquie and her sidekick Clay seem to move through a world that is at least half travelogue. Readers will enjoy the meticulous details of each locale, particularly during the many dramatic battle scenes.
Something stirs in the darkness. The servants have grown sullen, the secret police force known as the Gentlemen of the Night are on edge, and anarchist propaganda appears in the most polite of circles. When Brentford Orsini, one of New Venice’s most well known citizens, finds himself under the eye of the Gentlemen of the Night, he begins an adventure that threatens his entire world.