I have to say, this one’s given me a lot to think about. It’s a small book, physically speaking, but it has some pretty big things to say about where African F/SF has come from, where it currently stands, and maybe even where it’s going. The book itself is a collection of academic papers on aspects of F/SF created in Africa or by African authors and makes for some interesting and eye-opening reading.
This was an interesting read, albeit one which requires a fair bit of work from the reader. It’s a weird mix of cyberpunk meets colonial sci-fi meets social commentary, held together by some fantastic prose. Right from the first paragraph the writing comes across as a strongly jazz-influenced melange of images and ideas and perfectly sets the stage for what quickly becomes a confusing journey through an alien ecosphere, as seen through the eyes of our protagonist, Kalypso Deed.
Generally speaking, most people think of fantasy as being some analogue of western history with the occasional decidedly anthropocentric non-human races and some variation on a theme of dragons. At least, that’s how it used to be, up until a few years ago. These days, fantasy is a much broader and much more diverse playground, and Tasha Suri’s marvellous debut novel does more than its fair share to add to that diversity.
Following last year’s Court of Broken Knives I had high expectations for this book, and I have to say I was not disappointed. As with the first book in the series, The Tower of Living and Dying may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you enjoyed the first you’re going to love the second.
Damn, but this book is good. It’s another one that reads like pretty much every D&D game I’ve ever played in, and it wouldn’t surprise me to learn the author worked out the plot by simply rolling on a random encounter table for every chapter.