The best book that I read in October was Lightning Rods by Helen DeWitt (the latest title from And Other Stories, publishers of Deborah Levy’s Booker-shortlisted Swimming Home). It’s a disturbing but superbly realised study of how language and thought can be manipulated to make something abhorrent start to seem reasonable.
Harry Karlinsky’s debut novel, The Evolution of Inanimate Objects, is a biography of a fictitious historical character — Thomas Darwin, youngest child of Charles, who thought he could apply his father’s theories to artefacts. It’s a playful mixture of fact and fiction, a poignant character study, and a reflection on science. I reviewed it for Strange Horizons.
More reviews from October:
- The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett
- The Plant Hunter’s Tale by Caroline Cass
- The Confidant by Hélène Grémillon (including blog tour Q&A)
- The Eyes of Water by Alison Littlewood
- A Voyage to the Island of the Articoles by André Maurois
- I have waited, and you have come by Martine McDonagh
- Eyepennies by Mike O’Driscoll
- Dust and Other Stories by Paul Rooney
- Sea of Ink by Richard Weihe
- Harmattan by Gavin Weston
…and I continued my story-by-story review of Roelof Bakker’s anthology Still.
- A list of possibly-overlooked Clarke Award contenders.
- I responded to the recent debate on whether science fiction has become exhausted.
- The Sunday Story Society discussed a tale by M. John Harrison and went on hiatus for the time being.
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