Review

A review blog

Central Station by Lavie Tidhar

The novel “Central Station” by Lavie Tidhar was published for the first time in 2016 fixing-up a number of short stories published in previous years. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Award for Speculative Fiction, and the Israeli Geffen Award for Best Science Fiction novel.

Central Station is a space base that, in Tel Aviv, connects the Earth to the rest of the universe, where humanity spread over the centuries. The population of the area has increased so much that it’s become a sort of city within the city and is a crossroad of people coming and going inluding humans, cyborgs, robot priests, artificial intelligences and more connected to the aliens known only as the Others in a digital consciousness called the Conversation.

Boris Chong returns to Earth from Mars and discovers that a lot has changed and not for the better due to a chaotic growth. His ex-lover adopted a child with out of normal skills and some developments for his Earth relatives aren’t all positive. As if there weren’t enough problems, a data-vampire arrived from Mars too.

The Baba Yaga by Eric Brown and Una McCormack

The novel “The Baba Yaga” by Eric Brown and Una McCormack was published for the first time in 2015. It’s the third book of the Weird Space series and follows “Satan’s Reach”.

The Expansion’s government is taking very seriously the information gathered about the threat posed by the aliens known as the Weird but there are disagreements about the measures to be taken. For the intelligence services it’s difficult to get precise information about creatures that literally come from another universe but the prospect is to destroy the planets where the aliens have opened portals killing all the local population.

Delia Walker is an intelligence analyst who proposes to follow a trace that would lead her to search for a planet in the area of ​​space called Satan’s Reach where humans and Weird are said to live peacefully. Her position is definitely a minority but she believes it’s crucial to investigate so she decides to do it without the government’s support.

The short story “A Day to Remember” (“Un giorno da ricordare”) by Clelia Farris was published for the first time in 2017 by Strange Horizons in the translation by Rachel Cordasco.

Olì is a memory artist: she doesn’t just eliminate ugly memories cutting them out to leave the good ones but she modifies them to improve them. After the Great Frost there are many people who feel the need to forget something or at least to have pleasant memories and as payment they give Olì food or other items useful to her or to barter.

Eater by Gregory Benford (Italian edition)

The novel “Eater” by Gregory Benford was published for the first time in 2000.

Some astronomers are trying to understand the nature of a strange cosmic phenomenon. Two gamma-ray bursts a few hours apart seem to suggest different origins but it turns out to have been generated by a tiny black hole that’s entering the solar system devouring everything it meets.

The attention of Benjamin Knowlton, one of the astronomers, is divided between this enigma and his wife Channing, gravely ill with cancer. Despite this, he and his colleague Kingsley Dart must try to predict the trajectory of that black hole devourer and studying it they discover that it’s even stranger than they thought.

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

The novel “Spin” by Robert Charles Wilson was published for the first time in 2005. It’s the first book of the Spin trilogy. It won the Hugo Award as the best novel of the year, the Israeli Geffen Award, the German Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis, the French Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire and the Japanese Seiun Award.

Tyler Dupree is a young boy who’s spending the evening with his friends Jason and Diane Lawton when they realize that in the sky the stars have disappeared. After the initial amazement, he seeks news on television and discovers that something has happened all over the world and telecommunications are having big problems.

Soon the news arrives that the whole Earth got enveloped by an artificial membrane of unknown origin. After some time, attempts to probe it show that it slows down time so for every year that passes on Earth about 100 million years pass outside it. The membrane also filters electromagnetic radiation by hiding the stars and simulating day-night cycles.