Blogs about novels and literature in general

Felaheen by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

The novel “Felaheen” by Jon Courtenay Grimwood was published for the first time in 2003. It’s the third novel in the Arabesk trilogy and is the sequel to “Effendi”.

Ashraf (Raf) al-Mansur is in a complex situation after having renounced important positions in El Iskandryia (Alexandria of Egypt), in the Ottoman Empire. As if this weren’t enough, an attempt is made to kill the Emir of Tunis, who is officially Raf’s father even if he never met him.

The head of the Emir’s security asks Raf to help her find out attempted assassination’s perpetrator but he doesn’t believe that he’s really his father and doesn’t want to get involved. However, he ends up being attracted to the events in Tunis but investigates them his own way and that forces him to deal with himself by exploring his identity’s various faces.

William Gibson in 2007

William Ford Gibson was born on March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina, USA. In 1984 he published “Neuromancer”, which won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, launched his career for good and had considerable influence in the field. The novel also incorporates some themes already existing in science fiction but because of the way in which he develops them marked in particular the cyberpunk movement.

With his very visual style, William Gibson marked a period in the history of science fiction with an influence that went even beyond that genre. His descriptions of Western society, which in various ways proved to be apt in certain negative developments, made him important regardless of genre labels, inspiring subsequent productions in various media.

Orion by Ben Bova

The novel “Orion” by Ben Bova was published for the first time in 1984. It’s the first book in the Orion series.

John O’Ryan is aware of the fact that he has extraordinary skills but doesn’t know their origin. His life doesn’t seem exceptional but one day ends up in the middle of what looks like a terrorist attack. With him a beautiful woman who caught his attention is involved and ends up killed not in the attack but in the strange events that follow it.

Determined to understand more about it, John O’Ryan starts investigating and finally finds someone who reveals his true identity. He’s not a normal human being but Orion, the champion of all humanity, whose destiny is to save it by fighting Ahriman the Dark One, who wants to destroy it, through time. The woman who charmed him is more than a human and acts alongside Ormazd the Golden One, Orion’s creator.

Purgatory by Mike Resnick (Italian edition)

The novel “Purgatory” by Mike Resnick was published for the first time in 1993. It’s the second book in the Galactic Comedy series and follows “Paradise”.

On the planet Karimon there’s a native species of sentient reptiles that reached the equivalent of the Earth’s Stone Age. The arrival of human beings on Karimon quickly disrupts that civilization, especially because the strong presence of precious minerals attracts many potential exploiters putting the planet at the center of considerable economic interests.

Jalanopi is the king of the Tulabetes, the strongest nation on the planet Karimon, but he has no hope of stopping the arrival of human beings with their advanced weapons. His only hope is to put humans against another alien species interested in the planet’s resources to obtain weapons and agreements that ensure the natives’ survival.

Terminal Mind by David Walton

The novel “Terminal Mind” by David Walton was published for the first time in 2008. It won the Philip K. Dick Award.

Mark McGovern is the son of a wealthy politician so his life is far more comfortable than the average, yet his best friend is Darin Kinsley, who belongs to a social class with which the rich generally avoid personal relationships. The situation for the two of them becomes complicated when they release a super-virus called a “slicer” into the net.

That event has a series of important consequences and ramifications that add tension in Philadelphia, one of the city-states that emerged from the fragmentation of the old USA. A political and social situation that was already unstable is likely to become explosive and the attempts to destroy the slicer make disturbing truths slowly emerge.