I have a new review up at Strange Horizons today, of Adrian Barnes’s superb debut novel, Nod. I read it shortly after contributing to the debate on freshness in works of the fantastic, and it struck me as just the sort of thing I wanted to see.
In Nod, most of the world’s population loses the ability to sleep, which leads to psychosis within a few days – to the point where people’s perceptions can be manipulated with a word. Barnes tells of the power plays – the literal war or words – that goes on in a corner of Vancouver.
What interests me most about this novel is its pervading sense of unease at a situation which is all-consuming for its characters, yet is explicitly temporary. It makes for a fascinating read.
This book has been shortlisted for the 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award. Click here to read my other posts on this year’s Award.